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Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy v. treatment as usual in adults with ADHD: a multicentre, single-blind, randomised controlled trial

  • Lotte Janssen (a1), Cornelis C. Kan (a1), Pieter J. Carpentier (a2), Bram Sizoo (a3), Sevket Hepark (a1), Melanie P.J. Schellekens (a1), A. Rogier T. Donders (a4), Jan K. Buitelaar (a5) (a6) and Anne E.M. Speckens (a1)...
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.
Abstract
Background

There is a high need for evidence-based psychosocial treatments for adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to offer alongside treatment as usual (TAU). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a promising psychosocial treatment. This trial investigated the efficacy of MBCT + TAU v. TAU in reducing core symptoms in adults with ADHD.

Methods

A multicentre, single-blind, randomised controlled trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02463396). Participants were randomly assigned to MBCT + TAU (n = 60), an 8-weekly group therapy including meditation exercises, psychoeducation and group discussions, or TAU only (n = 60), which reflected usual treatment in the Netherlands and included pharmacotherapy and/or psychoeducation. Primary outcome was ADHD symptoms rated by blinded clinicians. Secondary outcomes included self-reported ADHD symptoms, executive functioning, mindfulness skills, self-compassion, positive mental health and general functioning. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, post-treatment, 3- and 6-month follow-up. Post-treatment effects at group and individual level, and follow-up effects were examined.

Results

In MBCT + TAU patients, a significant reduction of clinician-rated ADHD symptoms was found at post-treatment [M difference = −3.44 (−5.75, −1.11), p = 0.004, d = 0.41]. This effect was maintained until 6-month follow-up. More MBCT + TAU (27%) than TAU participants (4%) showed a ⩽30% reduction of ADHD symptoms (p = 0.001). MBCT + TAU patients compared with TAU patients also reported significant improvements in ADHD symptoms, mindfulness skills, self-compassion and positive mental health at post-treatment, which were maintained until 6-month follow-up. Although patients in MBCT + TAU compared with TAU reported no improvement in executive functioning at post-treatment, they did report improvement at 6-month follow-up.

Conclusions

MBCT might be a valuable treatment option alongside TAU for adult ADHD aimed at alleviating symptoms.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Lotte Janssen, E-mail: lotte.janssen@radboudumc.nl
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