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Effectiveness of a focused, brief psychoeducation program for parents of ADHD children: improvement of medication adherence and symptoms

Authors Bai G, Wang Y, Yang L, Niu W

Received 15 May 2015

Accepted for publication 20 July 2015

Published 20 October 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 2721—2735


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Guan-nan Bai,1 Yu-feng Wang,2,3 Li Yang,2,3 Wen-yi Niu1

1Department of Social Medicine and Health Education, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2Peking University Sixth Hospital/Institute of Mental Health, Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Ministry of Health, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 3National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders, Peking University Sixth Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a psychoeducation program for parents of children with ADHD in enhancing adherence to pharmacological treatment and improving clinical symptoms.
Methods: We developed a psychoeducation program based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Eighty-nine children with ADHD were cluster randomly assigned for their families to receive 3 months of well-structured psychoeducation (intervention group, n=44) or only general clinical counseling (control group, n=45). Parents in the intervention group were given an expert lecture (with slides and a parent manual), attended two expert-guided parent group sessions, and were invited to join a professional-guided online community. Measurement of parents’ knowledge about ADHD, components of the TPB model, and child ADHD symptoms were taken before and after intervention. Medication adherence was assessed thoroughly at the end of the first and third months. Satisfaction with the psychoeducation program was assessed only in the intervention group. Two-independent-samples t-test, ANOVA, and chi-square test were employed to compare differences between groups.
Results: Compared to the control group, medication adherence in the intervention group was significantly higher after 1 and 3 months (97.7% intervention vs 75.6% control, P=0.002, and 86.4% intervention vs 53.3% control, P=0.001, respectively). Accordingly, the ADHD rating scale scores were lower in the intervention group than the control group after intervention (33.7±5.4 vs 45.1±7.9, P=0.008). Greater improvements in parents’ knowledge about ADHD and many components of the TPB model were observed in the intervention group, especially increased intention to adhere to medication, compared to the control group (P<0.001).
Conclusion: This psychoeducation program had a positive impact on both medication adherence and clinical symptoms of ADHD children. It could be considered as a potential beneficial supplement to clinical practice.

Keywords: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, theory of planned behavior

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