Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Medication Outperforms CBT Alone to Treat Adults with ADHD

Posted on January 13, 2017

Photo: flickr

The primary treatment for adults with ADHD has always been the primary treatment together with good empirical support, however, many adults would rather not take it. Research studies have explored if medication is likely to provide significant benefits just as what a well-conducted therapy would be able to.

In a recent study on the efficacy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was tested out with and without medication for adults with ADHD, adults in the CBT+ medication group reported significantly greater reduction in core ADHD symptoms than adults receiving CBT alone. As for those who received CBT only, reported a significant reduction in core symptoms but this was less than for those who also received medication.

The study was on going for 12 weeks and topics such as basic education on ADHD and how it impacts adults, goal setting, strategies for attaining goals, organization and time management, managing stress, identifying and correcting maladaptive thoughts, anger management, impulse control, strategies for effective self-regulation, building self-esteem and understanding common relationship problems in adults with ADHD and how to address them were covered.

Participants in the CBT + medication group reported greater improvement in organizational skills following the CBT sessions as well as after the 3-month booster at the final assessment 3 months later. Although the differences were not significant, such pattern was observed in self-reported self-esteem as well.

For those whose ADHD is significantly impairing their day-to-day life, the time required for meaningful improvements with CBT alone may be too great.

For adults whose ADHD related difficulties are less acute, and who do not wish to take meds, results indicated that well-conducted CBT plus coaching is likely to produce significant benefits in how they experience their lives; this will likely occur gradually over an extended time period. For many individuals, this more gradual reduction in symptoms and impairment may be fine.

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Category(s):Adult ADHD

Source material from Sharp Brains


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