Meditation therapies for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, KhonKaen University, KhonKaen, Thailand, 40002.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 5.94). 01/2010; DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006507.pub2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common developmental disorders experienced in childhood and can persist into adulthood. The disorder has early onset and is characterized by a combination of overactive, poorly modulated behavior with marked inattention. In the long term it can impair academic performance, vocational success and social-emotional development. Meditation is increasingly used for psychological conditions and could be used as a tool for attentional training in the ADHD population.
To assess the effectiveness of meditation therapies as a treatment for ADHD.
Our extensive search included: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, ERIC, PsycINFO, C2-SPECTR, dissertation abstracts, LILACS, Virtual Health Library (VHL) in BIREME, Complementary and Alternative Medicine specific databases, HSTAT, Informit, JST, Thai Psychiatric databases and ISI Proceedings, plus grey literature and trial registries from inception to January 2010.
Randomized controlled trials that investigated the efficacy of meditation therapy in children or adults diagnosed with ADHD.
Two authors extracted data independently using a pre-designed data extraction form. We contacted study authors for additional information required. We analyzed data using mean difference (MD) to calculate the treatment effect. The results are presented in tables, figures and narrative form.
Four studies, including 83 participants, are included in this review. Two studies used mantra meditation while the other two used yoga compared with drugs, relaxation training, non-specific exercises and standard treatment control. Design limitations caused high risk of bias across the studies. Only one out of four studies provided data appropriate for analysis. For this study there was no statistically significant difference between the meditation therapy group and the drug therapy group on the teacher rating ADHD scale (MD -2.72, 95% CI -8.49 to 3.05, 15 patients). Likewise, there was no statistically significant difference between the meditation therapy group and the standard therapy group on the teacher rating ADHD scale (MD -0.52, 95% CI -5.88 to 4.84, 17 patients). There was also no statistically significant difference between the meditation therapy group and the standard therapy group in the distraction test (MD -8.34, 95% CI -107.05 to 90.37, 17 patients).
As a result of the limited number of included studies, the small sample sizes and the high risk of bias, we are unable to draw any conclusions regarding the effectiveness of meditation therapy for ADHD. The adverse effects of meditation have not been reported. More trials are needed.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic behavioural disorder that affects 5–8% of children. It is characterized by age-inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that cause functional impairment in multiple settings. The most common treatment of ADHD involves prescription of stimulant medications, which often cause undesirable side effects and pose unknown long-term health risks. Therefore, alternative treatment options for ADHD are becoming increasingly popular and need to be further investigated.Objectives This overview of reviews aims to synthesize evidence from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) on the efficacy and safety of non-pharmacologic treatments to improve symptoms of ADHD in children and adolescents.Methods Issue 12, 2010 of the CDSR was searched using the terms “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder”, “hyperkinetic disorder” and “ADHD” restricted to the title, abstract or keywords, and all systematic reviews examining non-pharmacologic treatments for ADHD in children and adolescents were identified. Data were extracted, complied into tables and synthesized using qualitative and quantitative methods.Main ResultsThree systematic reviews (containing ten trials and 594 participants) were identified for inclusion in this overview. Children assigned to Hatha yoga versus a non-specific physical activity control condition showed significantly less symptoms of inattention when measured using both parent ratings (MD: − 0.73; 95% CI: − 1.25, − 0.21) and child-completed tests (MD: − 4.01; 95% CI: − 6.23, − 1.79). There was no significant benefit of homeopathy compared to homeopathy placebo in decreasing symptoms of ADHD. There was also no significant difference between family therapy and standard treatment for parent and teacher ratings of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity; however, when overall symptoms were judged by a blinded third party observer in the classroom setting, standard treatment was significantly more effective (MD: 0.11; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.17). There was no significant difference between meditation therapy compared to both drug therapy and standard treatment without drugs for decreasing symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, distractibility or overall symptoms.Authors' Conclusions The three Cochrane reviews suffered from a lack of high-quality, adequately powered randomized controlled trials using standardized tools to measure clinically important outcomes over adequate periods of time. Therefore, the trials included in this overview are not sufficient to provide evidence of no positive benefit of treatment, nor are they sufficient to recommend the use Hatha yoga, family therapy, meditation therapy or homeopathy for the treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents. Copyright © 2011 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The Cochrane Collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: This is an ongoing project. Special thanks to Christopher Germer, Ph.D. and the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy for their many contributions. This bibliography does not try to include all the references to the broader Buddhist/therapy dialogue, which would extend it considerably. Also, more complete references for mindfulness in relation to physical and medical conditions, as well as neuroscience and physiological effects of mindfulness can be found in John C. Williams and Lidia Zylowska's "Mindfulness Bibliography. From molecules to mindfulness: Howe vertically convergent fractal time fluctuations unify cognition and emotion. Consciousness & Emotion, 1, 193-226.
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    BMJ Open 08/2014; 4:1-12. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-004903 · 2.06 Impact Factor


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