Knowledge Gaps Found for Nondrug Therapy in Pediatric ADHD

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The researchers found that there was no new guidance relating to the comparative effectiveness of nonpharmacologic treatments.
The researchers found that there was no new guidance relating to the comparative effectiveness of nonpharmacologic treatments.

HealthDay News — There are considerable gaps in knowledge relating to the effectiveness of nonpharmacologic treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in pediatric patients, according to a review published online May 30 in Pediatrics.

Adam P. Goode, D.P.T., Ph.D., from Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined the comparative effectiveness of nonpharmacologic treatments for ADHD among individuals age 17 years and younger. Studies that compared any ADHD nonpharmacologic treatment strategy with placebo, pharmacologic, or another nonpharmacologic treatment were included. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to generate pooled estimates for comparisons with at least three similar studies.

Fifty-four studies of nonpharmacologic treatments were identified, including neurofeedback, cognitive training, cognitive behavioral therapy, child or parent training, dietary omega fatty acid supplementation, and herbal and/or dietary approaches. The researchers found that there was no new guidance relating to the comparative effectiveness of nonpharmacologic treatments. In pooled results for omega fatty acids, there were no significant effects for parent or teacher ratings of ADHD total symptoms.

"Despite wide use, there are significant gaps in knowledge regarding the effectiveness of ADHD nonpharmacologic treatments," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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