Mindfulness vs psychoeducation in adult ADHD: a randomized controlled trial
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Mindfulness training is a promising treatment approach in adult ADHD. However, there has not yet been a randomized controlled trial comparing mindfulness to an active control condition. In this study, we assessed the efficacy of a mindfulness training program (MAP) compared to structured psychoeducation (PE).
After randomization 81 medication-free adult ADHD patients participated either in an 8-week MAP or PE group program. At baseline (T1), after 8 weeks (T2) and after 8 months (T3), severity of ADHD and associated symptoms (depression, general psychopathology, quality of life) were measured with the Conner’s ADHD Rating Scales (CAARS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and the SF-36 by self and blind observer ratings.
Both groups showed significant pre–post improvements in observer-rated Inattention scale (p < .001, partial η2 = 0.18) and in associated symptomatology, which persisted through 6 months of follow-up. There were no significant differences regarding symptom reduction between the treatment groups. Women benefited more compared to men irrespective of treatment group. Men showed the most pronounced changes under MAP.
In the current study, MAP was not superior to PE regarding symptom reduction in adult ADHD. Both interventions, mindfulness meditation and PE, were efficacious in reducing symptom load in adult ADHD. Furthermore in exploratory post hoc tests the study provides evidence for a potential gender-specific treatment response in adult ADHD.
KeywordsAdult ADHD Mindfulness Psychoeducation Psychotherapy Gender
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Conflict of interest
E. Hoxhaj, C. Sadohara, P. Borel, B. Feige and H. Müller declare that they have no conflicts of interest. R. D’Amelio has authored books and articles on adult ADHD published by Kohlhammer and Elsevier. S. Matthies received a speakers’ fee from Janssen-Cilag and was involved in clinical trials conducted by Janssen-Cilag and Lilly as a study physician in years 2007–2009. She has no conflicts of interest since that time. E. Sobanski has served on advisory boards of MEDICE Arzneimittel Pütter GmbH and Co. KG, Eli Lilly and Co and Shire. A. Philipsen has served on advisory boards, given lectures, performed phase 3 studies, or received travel grants within the last 5 years from Eli Lilly and Co, Janssen-Cilag, MEDICE Arzneimittel Pütter GmbH and Co KG, Lundbeck, Novartis, Servier and Shire; and has authored books and articles on psychotherapy published by Elsevier, Hogrefe, Schattauer, Kohlhammer, Karger, Springer, and Oxford Press.
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