Non-medical treatment versus medical treatment: A meta-analysis comparing the effects of complementary alternative treatments to the traditional medical treatments of ADHD symptoms in youth

Nicole Cooper, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of traditional medication to dietary supplementation in the treatment of ADHD symptoms in children and adolescents through a meta-analysis of double-blind placebo controlled trials. Recent published literature was analyzed on the stimulant therapy and dietary supplement treatment of ADHD symptoms to describe the variability of treatment-placebo effect sizes. A literature search was conducted to identify double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of ADHD in children and adolescents published after 1992. Meta-analysis regression assessed the influence of treatment type and study design features on treatment effects. Fifteen trials met criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. These trials studied treatments using different outcome measures of hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattentive behavior. Significant differences were found between traditional medication products and dietary supplements. The analyses indicate that effect sizes for traditional medication products are significantly, albeit moderately, greater than those for dietary supplements. Additionally, most measures of effect from all studies were statistically significant. These findings suggest that traditional medication products may be moderately more efficacious than dietary supplements, even after controlling for potentially confounding study design features. This difference in effect size may be due to the involvement that medication has in facilitating the alteration in neurological activity.^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Alternative Medicine|Psychology, General|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Nicole Cooper, "Non-medical treatment versus medical treatment: A meta-analysis comparing the effects of complementary alternative treatments to the traditional medical treatments of ADHD symptoms in youth" (2012). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1533585.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI1533585

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