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The effects of guided self-help interventions for parents of children with ADHD have already been proven in randomized controlled trials. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of this novel form of intervention under routine care conditions in a nationwide trial. Registered pediatricians as well as child and youth psychiatrists enrolled 274 children between 6 and 12 years old (83.6% male) diagnosed with ADHD to a self-help program for parents of children with ADHD. The program lasted for 1 year and consisted of eight booklets with advice for parenting children with ADHD as well as complementary telephone consultations (14 calls, up to 20 minutes each). The course of the ADHD symptoms and the comorbid symptoms as well as the development of the child’s individual problems were assessed in a pre-post design. 63% of the enrolled parents adhered to the program until the end. The families who cancelled the program did not differ concerning the severity of ADHD symptoms, but they did more often show an impaired familial and social background, and their children received pharmacological treatment more often. Three-fourths of the children who completed the program had received pharmacological treatment at the beginning of the program. The children had more severe ADHD symptoms than a clinical control group. During the intervention, ADHD symptoms as well as psychosocial functioning improved with large effect sizes of d>0.9. Additionally, comorbid oppositional and emotional symptoms decreased. These results indicate that guided self-help programs for families with children with ADHD are effective, also as an addition to pharmacological treatment.


Laura Mokros, Nicole Benien, Anna Mütsch, Claudia Kinnen, Stephanie Schürmann, Tanja Wolff Metternich-Kaizman, Dieter Breuer, Christopher Hautmann, Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer, Fionna Klasen, Manfred Döpfner. Guided self-help interventions for parents of children with ADHD--concept, referral and effectiveness in a nationwide trial. An observational study]. Zeitschrift für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie. 2015 Jul;43(4):275-86; quiz 287-8

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PMID: 26118815

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