Category: ADHD - Child
Background. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a ubiquitous disorder and often treated through various methods. One treatment approach for ADHD is psychoeducation. Psychoeducation has been defined as a systematic and didactic approach to informing patients, and their relatives, about their illness and possible treatments, promoting understanding and personal management of the illness (Ferrin et al., 2014). This meta-analysis sought to understand the magnitude of impact that psychoeducation interventions have on various outcomes in children with ADHD.
Method. A systematic review ofarticles published between 1990 and 2015 was conducted and studies were evaluated based on the following inclusion criteria: 1) included a specific psychoeducation program, 2) was a treatment outcome study, 3) included youth (5-1), 4) youth had diagnosis of ADHD or exhibited significant symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity or impulsivity. The independent variable in the selected articles was psychoeducation interventions and the dependent variables in the selected articles included 17 constructs related to children’s functioning. Analyses included Hedges’ g formula that calculated individual study and summary effect sizes. The direction of treatment effects was set so that positive values implied greater improvement in subjects receiving the intervention across outcomes. Q statistics were calculated to infer the presence or absence of heterogeneity. For those effect sizes that were heterogeneous, moderator analyses were conducted, using intervention type, study design, length on psychoeducation session, and number of sessions as potential moderators.
Results. Ten studies met our four criteria. The total participant sample size of included studies was 251 participants ranging from 4 to 69, with an average of 23 (SD = 20.74). Among the 17 outcomes effect sizes that were analyzed, some significant findings include effect sizes for ADHD symptoms as reported by parents was 0.809 and for teachers was 0.442. The effect sizes for inattention and attention problems as reported by parents was 0.322 and by teachers was 0.680. Among the outcomes assessing child’s family and social functioning, effect sizes, as reported by parents, were significantly heterogeneous (Qtotal  = 9.151, p = .002; I2 = 89%); a significant moderation effect by the type of intervention was found (QBetween  = 9.151, p = .002). The treatment adherence effect size was 0.465, p=.009.
Conclusion. While psychoeducation seems to have had promising effects on parent and teacher perception of symptoms and on family and child’s social functioning, relatively few studies have looked at treatment adherence as an outcome. This may be a future direction for researchers in this area to focus on as a treatment outcome.