Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, tested cognitive behavioral therapy in adults who were also treated with drugs but still experiencing significant symptoms.

First, the details.

  • 86 symptomatic adults with ADHD being treated with medication were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 12 individual sessions.
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy
    • Relaxation + educational support
  • ADHD symptoms were rated (ADHD rating scale and Clinical Global Impression scale) before and after treatment, and 6 and 12 months later.
  • The evaluator was not aware of the treatment given — single-blind.
  • Patients also reported any changes in their symptoms.

And, the results.

  • Both rating scales showed improvement with cognitive behavioral therapy compared with relaxation + educational support.
  • Self-reported symptoms were also significantly more improved for cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Responders and partial responders in the cognitive behavioral therapy group maintained their gains over 6 and 12 months.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Among adults with persistent ADHD symptoms treated with medication, the use of cognitive behavioral therapy compared with relaxation with educational support resulted in improved ADHD symptoms, which were maintained at 12 months.”

8/26/10 21:06 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.