Randomized Controlled Trial of Group Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for ADHD Among College Students
Fleming, Andrew P.
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OBJECTIVE: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects between 2% and 8% of college students and is associated with broad and significant functional impairment. Effective interventions for ADHD among college students are urgently needed; however, very few studies and no randomized controlled trials have been published evaluating the efficacy of treatments for ADHD among college students. The present study is a pilot randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy, acceptability, and feasibility of a group-based dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills training intervention for college students with ADHD. METHOD: Thirty-three undergraduate students with ADHD were randomized to receive either group skills training or self-guided skills handouts during an 8-week intervention phase. Participants were 42% female, 58% white, with an average age of 21.3 years (range 18-24). ADHD symptoms, executive functioning, and several related outcomes were assessed via self-report and neuropsychological testing. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to analyze primary outcome measures at baseline, post-treatment, and 3-month follow-up. RESULTS: Participants receiving group skills training showed greater improvement in executive functioning and quality of life, with a trend toward greater improvement in ADHD symptoms and sustained attention. Treatment response rates were approximately 60% vs. 25% and clinical recovery rates were approximately 55% vs. 20% in the group skills training and handouts conditions, respectively. Acceptability and feasibility of group skills training were high. CONCLUSIONS: Group DBT skills training may be efficacious, acceptable, and feasible for treating ADHD among college students. A large-scale randomized trial is needed to further evaluate this intervention.
- Psychology