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Limited evidence for non-drug treatment of childhood ADHD

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Review of: Goode AP et al. Nonpharmacologic treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review. Pediatrics 2018;141:e20180094.

Key learning points

  • A systematic review assessed a range of non-drug treatments for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  • Omega fatty acids did not produce a statistically significant effect on ADHD symptoms compared with the control group.

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy showed some effect on reducing anxiety and depression and improving ADHD scores for children in one study.

  • Child and parent training had mixed results depending on the comparator.

A review of non-pharmacological treatments for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) found low-quality evidence that was limited by small sample size, variation in outcomes and short-term follow-up.


This systematic review looked at studies, conducted between 2009 and 2016, of non-pharmacological treatments for ADHD …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Contributors DTB Team.