Does Mindfulness Meditation Training help adults with ADHD?

Posted on December 11, 2013

As aware­ness of ADHD in adults increases, so do efforts to develop effec­tive treat­ments for adults that can com­ple­ment, or sub­sti­tute for, med­ica­tion. One promis­ing treat­ment is mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion train­ing. In mind­ful­ness train­ing, indi­vid­u­als learn to ori­ent their atten­tion pur­pose­fully towards the present moment and to approach their one’s expe­ri­ence with curios­ity, open­ness, and acceptance.

Mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion may be par­tic­u­larly well-suited to address ADHD in adults because it focuses on pro­mot­ing the reg­u­la­tion of atten­tion. Prior stud­ies also sug­gest that mind­ful­ness train­ing can enhance aspects of exec­u­tive func­tion­ing and may con­tribute to bet­ter emo­tion reg­u­la­tion, areas where many adults with ADHD struggle.

A study recently pub­lished online in the Jour­nal of Atten­tion Dis­or­ders, A pilot trial of mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion train­ing for ADHD in adult­hood: Impact on core symp­toms, exec­u­tive func­tion­ing and emo­tion dys­reg­u­la­tion, pro­vides the most rig­or­ous inves­ti­ga­tion to date of mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion train­ing for adults with ADHD.

Com­pared to con­trol par­tic­i­pants, adults who received mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion train­ing reported sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant and clin­i­cally mean­ing­ful declines in core ADHD symp­toms, both inat­ten­tive symp­toms and hyperactive-impulsive symp­toms. Nearly 64% of adults receiv­ing treat­ment reported at least a 30% decline in inat­ten­tive and hyperactive-impulsive symp­toms com­pared to 0% in the con­trol group. Inter­ven­tion par­tic­i­pants also reported sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tions in the impair­ment caused by ADHD symp­toms. Rat­ings pro­vided by clin­i­cians were con­sis­tent with adults’ self-reports as were rat­ings obtained via the expe­ri­ence sam­pling method­ol­ogy described above.

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Category(s):Adult ADHD, Mindfulness, Mindfulness Meditation

Source material from Sharp Brain