Researchers at KhonKaen University, in KhonKaen, Thailand reviewed the evidence for this Cochrane report on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

First, the details.

  • 4 studies, including 83 participants, were included.
    • 2 studies used mantra meditation while the other 2 used yoga.
    • Comparisons were made to drugs, relaxation training, non-specific exercises, and standard treatment control.
  • Design limitations in the studies caused a high risk of bias.

And, the results.

  • Only 1 study provided data appropriate for analysis, and reported no statistically significant difference between meditation and drug therapy on the teacher rating ADHD scale.
  • Likewise, there were no significant differences between meditation therapy and standard therapy in the distraction test or teacher rating ADHD scale.
  • Adverse effects of meditation have not been reported.

The bottom line?

There’s no shortage of websites that anecdotally report the benefits of meditation to treat ADHD.

However, based on a limited number of studies that are compromised by a high risk of bias and conducted in a small number or patients, these authors concluded, “More trials are needed” before meditation is considered an evidence-based option for treating ADHD.

6/18/10 19:16 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.