Skills not pills: Non-medication options for ADHD

Although stimulant medication is a widely used treatment for ADHD, there are risks, problems and negative side-effects associated with its use. Alternatively, psychological interventions that use behavioural and cognitive techniques have been shown to be effective in the treatment of ADHD in children.

In 2014, Hodgson and colleagues reviewed existing research on a range of non-pharmacological interventions as treatment for children with ADHD. Seven psychological interventions evaluated in the review included: behaviour modification, neurofeedback, multimodal psychosocial treatment, school-based programs, working memory training, parent training, and self-monitoring. Hodgson and colleagues investigated the effects of 14 controlled treatment studies that incorporated a total of 625 participants and found that behavioural modification and neurofeedback treatments were the most efficacious of the 7 psychological interventions in treating children with ADHD. Behavioural modification improved functioning across numerous domains, including ADHD symptoms, behaviours and neuropsychological test performance. Neurofeedback showed to be very promising as a form of treatment as it helped significantly improvement in DSM-IV symptoms, neuropsychological test performance and behaviours.

Reference: Hodgson, K., Hutchinson, A. D., & Denson, L. (2014). Non pharmacological treatments for ADHD: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Attention Disorders, 18, 275 –282