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Expert Rev Neurother. 2008 Oct;8(10):1537-48. doi: 10.1586/14737175.8.10.1537.

Recent developments in the psychosocial treatment of adult ADHD.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an increasingly recognized Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV psychiatric disorder associated with significant functional impairment in multiple domains. Although stimulant and other pharmacotherapy regimens have the most empirical support as treatments for ADHD in adults, many adults with the disorder continue to experience significant residual symptoms. In the present manuscript, we review the published studies examining group and individual psychosocial treatments for adult ADHD. We include a discussion of coaching interventions and how they differ from cognitive-behavioral therapy. We conclude that the available data support the use of structured, skills-based psychosocial interventions as a viable treatment for adults with residual symptoms of ADHD. Common elements across the various treatment packages include psychoeducation, training in concrete skills (e.g., organization and planning strategies) and emphasis on outside practice and maintenance of these strategies in daily life. These treatments, however, require further study for replication, extension and refinement. Finally, we suggest future directions for the application of psychosocial treatments to the problems of adults with ADHD.

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