Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may improve the home behavior of children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).


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ADHD 4 Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may improve the home behavior of children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). CITATION: Fehlings, D. L., Roberts, W., Humphries, T., Dawe, G. (1991). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Does cognitive behavioral therapy improve home behavior? Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 12(4):223-8. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IA1a RESEARCH OBJECTIVE/ QUESTION To determine CBT s effectiveness in improving home behavior in children with ADHD. DESIGN X RCT Single case Case control Cohort Before after Cross-sectional RCT = randomized control trial 2 groups, 2 treatments SAMPLING PROCEDURE Random Consecutive X Controlled Convenience SAMPLE N=26 M age=9.5 years Male=26 Ethnicity= Female=0 = not reported PARTICIPANT CHARACTERISTICS Inclusion criteria: Boys between ages 7 and 13 years Diagnosis of ADHD

A rating by parents of 15 or greater on the Conners 10 Item scale and 150 or greater on the Self-Control Rating Scale (SCRS) A score of 85 or greater on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale (WISV R) verbal subtests Exclusion criteria: Were on stimulant medication Diagnosed with conduct disorder MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS/CLINICAL DISORDER ADHD OT TREATMENT DIAGNOSIS N/A OUTCOMES CBT and home behavior Measures Reliability Validity 1. SCRS, a measure of impulsivity 2. Revised Behavior Problem Checklist Attention Problem subscale, a measure of inattention 3. Parent ratings of the child on the Modified Werry Weiss Activity Scale (a measure of the child's activity level in the home) 4. Revised Matching Familiar Figures Task(MFFT) a cognitive measure of impulsivity, yielding a score for latency and number of errors 5. Piers Harris Self-Concept Scale (child rating) = Not reported All outcome measures were obtained before treatment, posttreatment (4 months), and 5 months posttreatment. Outcome OT terminology Performance components: Cognitive integration and cognitive components Psychosocial skills and psychological components Outcome ICIDH-2 terminology Impairments INTERVENTION CBT Supportive therapy (control group)

Description CBT: Direct instruction in cognitive behavioral strategies that were reinforced using a token contingency reward system. Problem solving was broken into a 5-step process that included (1) defining the problem, (2) setting a goal, (3) generating workable problemsolving strategies, (4) choosing a solution, and (5) evaluating the outcome with selfreinforcement (e.g., modeling, role playing, self-instructional training, cue cards, homework assignments and behavioral techniques [contingent social reinforcement, token system, and response cost]). Families received education about ADHD and instruction in CBT. Control: Children in the control group received the same amount of exposure to the therapist and tasks and the same number of rewards, but they were not instructed in cognitive behavioral strategies. Families received education about ADHD and exposure to the behavioral therapist at the same time as did the CBT group; however, instruction in CBT was replaced with supportive listening. Who delivered Behavioral therapist Setting Clinical setting Family sessions: Home environment Frequency/Duration Twelve 60-minute individual sessions with the child and the behavioral therapist at the clinic, 2 times per week, and eight 2-hour sessions once every 2 weeks with the family in their homes Follow-up Quality control: There was follow-up for all participants, with the exception of 1 family in the supportive therapy group. RESULTS Baseline comparability of groups: There were no statistically significant differences at baseline between the groups (p < 0.05). Primary analysis: Werry Weiss Activity Scale revealed a statistically significant treatment effect favoring CBT [F(1, 68) = 4.70, p < 0.03]. Secondary analysis: Teaching ratings: The Attention Problem subscale approached significance, with the CBT group improving more than the supportive therapy group [F(1, 68) = 3.78, p < 0.0056].. Child ratings: Piers Harris showed significant treatment effect, with children in the CBT group showing greater improvement in self-esteem [F(1, 68) = 4.62, p < 0.035].

A post-hoc paired t test assessing differences in the CBT group was significant at the pretreatment posttreatment comparison [t(1, 2) = 3.24, p < 0.01] and pre-treatment 5-month posttreatment comparisons [t(1, 2) = 3.65, p < 0.01]. Cognitive measure: The matching familiar figures tasks with respect to both latency and errors did not demonstrate a treatment effect [latency F(1, 68) = 0.94, p < 0.34 error rate F(1, 68) = 0.34, p < 0.056]. Family dysfunction: 3 of the families were undergoing a divorce, and in 1 family the primary caregiver met the criteria for a major depression. With these families removed from the primary analyses, the parent rating on the SCRS now demonstrated a significant treatment effect favoring CBT [F = 6.01, p < 0.02]. CONCLUSIONS Both a statistically and clinically significant treatment effect favoring CBT was found in the parent's perception of the child's hyperactivity. Clinically, for the children receiving CBT, at posttreatment, they were rated well into the normal range of activity (a score of <38) and maintained this improvement 5 months posttreatment. In the home, hyperactivity appeared to respond to CBT more than did inattentiveness and impulsivity. This study focused on the child's behavior in the home; the presence of moderate to severe family dysfunction may influence the ability of the family to respond to therapy. A secondary analysis with dysfunctional families (2 that were in the CBT and 2 in the supportive therapy group) did not alter the results, with the exception of the parent SCRS. The SCRS demonstrated a significant treatment effect favoring CBT, suggesting that the absence of family dysfunction may increase the responsiveness to CBT. Secondary analyses revealed that teacher ratings of inattentive behavior showed a greater improvement following CBT with the result approaching significance. This finding provides some support for a generalization of the effects of CBT into an environment outside the treatment setting. In summary, this research provides supports for the use of CBT in managing children with ADHD. LIMITATIONS Some of the statistical analyses may have been inappropriate. Considering the number of tests, the effects were limited and weak. Post hoc analyses involved dropping subjects whose parents they classified as moderate to severe dysfunctional. This classification was based on whether parents were undergoing a divorce, without any other independent measure of dysfunction reported. Terminology used in this document is based on two systems of classification current at the time the evidence-based literature reviews were completed: Uniform

Terminology for Occupational Therapy Practice Third Edition (AOTA, 1994) and International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICIDH-2) (World Health Organization [WHO], 1999). More recently, the Uniform Terminology document was replaced by Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process (AOTA, 2002), and modifications to ICIDH-2 were finalized in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (WHO, 2001). This work is based on the evidence-based literature review completed by Erna Imperatore Blanche, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, and Gustavo Reinoso, OTR/L. Contributions to the evidence brief were provided by Michele Youakim, PhD. For more information about the Evidence-Based Literature Review Project, contact the Practice Department at the American Occupational Therapy Association, 301-652-6611, x 2040. Copyright 2004 American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may be reproduced and distributed without prior written consent.