Evidence, interpretation, and qualification from multiple reports of long-term outcomes in the multimodal treatment study of children with ADHD (MTA): Part I: Executive summary

James Swanson, L. Eugene Arnold, Helena Kraemer, Lily Hechtman, Brooke Molin, Stephen Hinshaw, Benedetto Vitiello, Peter Jensen, Ken Steinhoff, Marc Lerner, Laurence Greenhill, Howard Abikoff, Karen Wells, Jeffery Epstein, Glen Elliott, Jeffrey Newcorn, Betsy Hoza, Timothy Wigal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To review the primary and secondary findings from the Multimodal Treatment study of ADHD (MTA) published over the past decade as three sets of articles. Method: In a two-part article-Part I: Executive Summary (without distracting details) and Part II: Supporting Details (with additional background and detail required by the complexity of the MTA)-we address confusion and controversy about the findings. Results: We discuss the basic features of the gold standard used to produce scientific evidence, the randomized clinical trial, for which was used to contrast four treatment conditions: medication management alone (MedMgt), behavior therapy alone (Beh), the combination of these two (Comb), and a community comparison of treatment "as usual" (CC). For each of the three assessment points we review three areas that we believe are important for appreciation of the findings: definition of evidence from the MTA, interpretation of the serial presentations of findings at each assessment point with a different definition of long-term, and qualification of the interim conclusions about long-term effects of treatments for ADHD. Conclusion: We discuss the possible clinical relevance of the MTA and present some practical suggestions based on current knowledge and uncertainties facing families, clinicians, and investigators regarding the long-term use of stimulant medication and behavioral therapy in the treatment of children with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Behavior modification
  • Multimodal treatment
  • Randomized clinical trial
  • Stimulant medication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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