To help Children with ADHD improve academic performance, combine medication and behavioral treatment

Posted on January 28, 2015

Aca­d­e­mic prob­lems are extremely com­mon in chil­dren with ADHD and often the issue that leads to refer­ral for an ADHD eval­u­a­tion. Unfor­tu­nately, the sig­nif­i­cant aca­d­e­mic strug­gles that many chil­dren with ADHD expe­ri­ence can under­mine their long-term suc­cess in areas that extend far beyond for­mal schooling.

Given these facts, an impor­tant ques­tion is whether long-term aca­d­e­mic func­tion­ing in youth with ADHD improves with treat­ment? Because this is such a fun­da­men­tally impor­tant ques­tion, and ADHD is the most well-researched men­tal health con­di­tion in chil­dren, one might think that the answer is clearly estab­lished. For a vari­ety of rea­sons - per­haps the most impor­tant of which is the inher­ent dif­fi­culty of con­duct­ing long-term treat­ment stud­ies - this is not the case.

A new study pub­lished recently online in the Jour­nal of Atten­tion Dis­or­ders [Long-term out­comes of ADHD: Aca­d­e­mic achieve­ment and per­for­mance] rep­re­sents a valu­able effort to orga­nize rel­e­vant stud­ies on this issue so that broad con­clu­sions about how ADHD treat­ment affects long-term aca­d­e­mic out­comes can be made.

For achieve­ment test scores, treat­ment yielded improve­ment in 7 of 9 stud­ies (78%) when the com­par­i­son was with pre-treatment base­line and in 4 of 5 stud­ies (80%) when treated and untreated youth were compared.

For aca­d­e­mic per­for­mance out­comes, improve­ment was found in 1 of 2 stud­ies that used pre– vs. post-treatment com­par­isons and in 4 of 10 stud­ies com­par­ing treated and non-treated youth.

Over­all, there­fore, there was greater evi­dence of treat­ment ben­e­fits on achieve­ment out­comes than on per­for­mance outcomes.

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Category(s):Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Source material from Sharp Brains