Stimulants may not improve score or homework performance among ADHD children: Study

Stimulants may not improve score or homework performance among ADHD children: Study

A new study has not found stimulants to be effective in improving the grades or helping ADH children in completing their homework. The research is based on the comparison of the efficacy of medication against behavioral interventions in 75 children who attended a summer school program.

The students were randomly assigned to either receive behavioral treatment or a long-acting stimulant. Study’s lead researcher Brittany Merrill from Florida International University in Miami said that long-acting stimulants were not found to be helpful in improving homework performance.

In fact, behavioral interventions were found to be more effective when it came to improving homework performance among ADHD children. In the group that was taking medication, doctors worked with the children for more than two weeks to evaluate the correct dose of drugs.

In the next step, the researchers provided them with either a stimulant or a placebo for three weeks and then switched to see the effect of drugs on each child’s homework performance. In the case of behavioral therapy group, the researchers carried out a series of six two-hour group sessions for the first two weeks and then individual half hour session for the next two weeks.

There was no notable effect of medication on homework completion when compared with placebo. In the case of behavioral treatment, children were able to show improvement. The study indicates that things are little better with behavioral help.

Dr. Tumaini Rucker Coker from Dr. Tumaini Rucker Coker thinks that medication should not be completely sidelines. “It doesn't suggest that the child does not need the medication - it may suggest, however, that by evening hours when the effect of the medication has dissipated, behavioral interventions will be even more important to help the child get through evening homework time”, said Coker.