The Benefits of Multimodal Treatment for ADHD

4 April 2015
A look at the form of treatment for ADHD known as multimodal treatment and how it can respond to the limitations of psychostimulants, the most common form of treatment for ADHD.

This paper delves into the form of treatment for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) known as Multimodal Treatment and the research being done for Attention Behavior Deficit Disorder. The paper explains that multimodal treatment combines pharmacological treatment with physical accommodations and behavioral therapy to help individuals with ADHD perform at a higher level than treatment with medication alone.
” Imagine over 2 million children in the United States affected with a psychological disorder which is chronic and significantly disabling. Children who suffer from this disorder are frequently highly emotional, may be aggressive, tend to be underachievers and may feel highly agitated and frustrated most of the time. These children are often lonely and isolated from peers as a result of the unpredictable and erratic behavior that characterize this disorder. In their teens and early adulthood suffers of this disorder are more likely than peers to drop out of school, use illicit drugs (Garber, Garber, & Spizman, 1996), change jobs frequently and often experience depression (Solden, 1995). This is the landscape for the estimated 3 to 5% of United States children diagnosed as having Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)(Garber et al., 1996). The most common treatment for this disorder consists of medication to alleviate symptoms. However, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2000), multimodal treatments that consist of a combination of behavioral therapy and medication provide better outcomes for children with complex problems like ADHD. Specifically, The National Institute of Mental Health conducted the NIMH Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD (called the MTA Study)(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 1999). The MTA Study documented 579 children over a period of 14 months. The children were divided into four groups; a control group, a group which received medication, a group which recived behavioral therapy, and a group which received multimodal treatment. This study demonstrated that after 14 months of treatment, children who received combined treatments performed better in six outcome areas “social skills, parent child relations, internalizing symptoms, reading achievement, oppositional and/or aggressive symptoms and parent and/or consumer satisfaction- whereas children receiving only medication improved in only one to two of these areas and children in the control group and in the behavioral therapy groups showed clinically significant improvement in any of these areas (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999). ”

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