An RCT of an Online Parenting Program for Parents of Preschool-Aged Children with ADHD Symptoms
Nike Franke, Louise J. Keown, Matthew R. Sanders
First Published September 8, 2016
Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: The rate limiting variable to widespread use of parent training for ADHD has been access. Development of online programs, especially if supplemented by other treating clinicians, could change this. As virtual treatment becomes the norm, rather than the exception, online treatment has particular potential.
Objective: This randomized control trial evaluated the efficacy of an online self-help program in a sample of parents of preschoolers with ADHD symptoms.
Method: Parents were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 27) or the delayed intervention group (n = 26). Child behavior measures were completed by mothers, fathers, and teachers, and parenting measures were completed by mothers.
Results: Intent-to-treat analyses indicated significant post-intervention improvements in mother-rated child hyperactivity/inattention, restlessness/impulsivity, defiance/aggression, social functioning, and teacher-rated prosocial behavior, as well as significant improvements in maternal over-reactivity, verbosity, laxness, positive parenting, parenting satisfaction, self-efficacy, stress, and depression. At 6-month follow-up, effects were maintained for maternal over-reactivity and verbosity, parenting satisfaction and self-efficacy, and parental stress and depression.
Conclusion: This study provides evidence for the effectiveness of an online self-help parenting program in reducing preschool inattentive behavior difficulties, and in increasing parenting competence, satisfaction in the parenting role, and maternal well-being.
* Abstracts are selected for their clinical relevance by Dr. Margaret Weiss, Director of Clinical Research, Child Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard University. Her commentary reflects her own opinion. It is not approved or necessarily representative of the CADDRA board.