The Effects of ADHD Teacher Training Programs on Teachers and Pupils: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

The Effects of ADHD Teacher Training Programs on Teachers and Pupils: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Ward RJ, Bristow SJ, Kovshoff H, Cortese S, Kreppner J.

J Atten Disord. 2020 Dec 17:1087054720972801.

doi: 10.1177/1087054720972801.


Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: Training teachers to understand ADHD and skills in managing ADHD in the classroom clearly works in improving teacher knowledge.  It would be helpful to know whether children in the classrooms of trained teachers have an improved quality of life at school as compared to children in classrooms where teachers do not understand the disorder.  Does training also decrease teachers blaming the child rather than understanding behavior as a symptom?



Objective: To synthesize the evidence on the efficacy of ADHD teacher training interventions for teachers’ ADHD knowledge and reducing pupils’ ADHD-type behaviors.


Method: Six electronic databases were systematically searched up to 14/04/20. Meta-analyses were performed to pool standardized mean differences (SMD).


Results: 29 studies were included in the systematic review, and 22 meta-analyzed. SMD for teacher knowledge within subjects at post-test and follow-up was 1.96 (95% confidence interval = 1.48, 2.43) and ‒1.21 (-2.02, -0.41) respectively. Between subjects analyses at post-test showed SMD = 1.56 (0.52, 2.59), with insufficient data at follow-up. At post-test, SMD for pupils’ behavior within and between subjects was 0.78 (0.37, 1.18), and 0.71 (-0.11, 1.52), respectively. Medium-to-high risk of bias was found in all but one study.


Conclusion: ADHD teacher training programs may be effective in initially improving ADHD teachers’ knowledge. There is inconsistent evidence for their efficacy to reduce students’ ADHD-type behaviors.


* 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.


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