Center for ADHD

  • Development of a Multifaceted Cognitive Training Program for Children with ADHD


    Grant Number:
    1R21 / R33MH084842
    PI: Jeff Epstein, PhD
    Collaborators: Joshua Langberg, PhD ; Leanne Tamm, PhD; Aaron Vaughn, PhD

    After decades of ADHD intervention research, only two intervention approaches (psychopharmacology, behavioral treatment) have a “well-established” evidence-base supporting their efficacy for children with ADHD. Recently multiple studies have demonstrated that cognitive training may improve neuropsychological and behavioral functioning in children with ADHD. Existing cognitive training programs target a single cognitive domain (e.g., working memory). This is problematic since as a group, children with ADHD have multiple areas of cognitive deficit (working memory, attention, response inhibition, delay aversion, intra-individual variability), and thus an intervention that only targets a single cognitive domain does not address the multifaceted array of cognitive dysfunction in children with ADHD.

    The objective of this study is to develop and test a multifaceted cognitive training intervention that addresses a comprehensive array of ADHD-related cognitive deficits.

    During Phase I, software and a manual will be developed consisting of four training tasks targeting response inhibition, verbal working memory, and attention. Each task will possess advancing levels of difficulty. On each task, children will receive feedback on performance accuracy as well as on intra-individual variability in reaction times. The software will be pilot tested to determine performance thresholds and intervention duration. Also, focus groups will be conducted to obtain patient perceptions of each task’s difficulty and interest level.

    In Phase II, a preliminary randomized clinical trial with 40 patients with ADHD will be conducted to obtain initial estimates of treatment efficacy. Pre-, post- and follow-up outcomes will be collected on a wide range of neuropsychological, behavioral and academic measures. Disseminating a Model Intervention to Promote Improved ADHD Care in the Community.

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