The Effects of Mindfulness for Youth (MYmind) versus Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Improving Attention and Reducing Behavioral Problems among Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Their Parents: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Author: Samuel Yeung Shan Wong1, Stanley Kam Chung Chan1, Benjamin Hon Kei Yip1, Wenyue Wang1, Herman Hay Ming Lo2, Dexing Zhang1, Susan M Bögels3
1 JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
2 Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
3 Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Conference/Journal: Psychother Psychosom
Date published: 2023 Dec 1
Other: Pages: 1-12 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1159/000534962. , Word Count: 241

There is a lack of studies evaluating mindfulness-based interventions for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared with an evidence-based control. This randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluated the effects of mindfulness for youth (MYmind) in improving children's attention, behavior, and parent-related outcomes versus cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

A total of 138 families of children with ADHD aged 8-12 years were recruited from the community with 69 randomized to MYmind and 69 to CBT. Participants were assessed at baseline, immediately after intervention, at 3 months and 6 months. The primary outcome was the attention score of the Sky Search subtest of the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch). Secondary outcomes were child behavior and parent-related assessments. Linear mixed models were used to assess the efficacy of MYmind compared with CBT.

Both MYmind and CBT significantly improved children's attention score at 6 months (MYmind: β = 1.48, p = 0.013, Cohen's d = 0.32; CBT: β = 1.46, p = 0.008, d = 0.27). There were significant within-group improvements in most secondary outcomes. No significant difference was shown for both primary or secondary outcomes between the two arms at any time point.

Both MYmind and CBT appeared to improve children's attention and behavior outcomes, although no difference was found between these two interventions. This is the largest RCT so far comparing MYmind and CBT although there was loss of follow-up assessments during the pandemic. Further RCTs adopting a non-inferiority design are needed to validate the results.

Keywords: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; Child; Family; Mindfulness; Randomized controlled trial.

PMID: 38043516 DOI: 10.1159/000534962