Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children

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The present study investigated the predictive power of anxiety, IQ, severity of ADHD and parental depression on the outcome of treatment in children with ADHD.


Fifty children with ADHD (ages 8-12) were randomized to a 10-week treatment of methylphenidate or to a treatment of methylphenidate combined with multimodal behavior therapy. Prior to treatment predictors were assessed. Outcome was assessed separately for parents and teachers on a composite measure of inattentive, hyperactive, oppositional- and conduct disorder symptoms.


There was neither a significant difference between the two treatments at baseline nor did treatment condition predict outcome. Therefore the data were collapsed across the two treatments. A combination of anxiety and IQ predicted teacher-rated outcome, explaining 18% of the variance. Higher anxiety and higher IQ's indicated better treatment outcome. There were no significant predictors of the parent-rated outcome.


This study showed a small but significant predictive effect of IQ and anxiety on treatment outcome in children with ADHD.

Clinical implications

This study supports the idea that for the treatment of ADHD children with comorbid anxiety and higher IQ respond better to the two most used treatments for ADHD.

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