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Postgrad Med. 2010 Sep;122(5):42-51. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2010.09.2200.

Improvements in executive function correlate with enhanced performance and functioning and health-related quality of life: evidence from 2 large, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials in ADHD.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders, 1188 Whitney Ave., New Haven, Hamden, CT 06517, USA.



To assess whether improvement in executive function correlates with perceived improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who are treated with stimulant medication.


We collected data on executive function and HRQOL using the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) and the ADHD Impact Module-Adult (AIM-A) during 2 large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials evaluating the use of the triple-bead mixed amphetamine salt (MAS) SPD465 as stimulant pharmacotherapy for ADHD. BADDS and AIM-A data were collected at baseline and at study endpoint, and changes from baseline were assessed. Correlation coefficients for BADDS and AIM-A were calculated at baseline and endpoint for each study.


The change from baseline in BADDS total score was -14.8 ± 24.49 in Study 1 (dose optimization strategy) and -26.1 ± 28.54 in Study 2 (forced-dose titration strategy), demonstrating substantial reported improvement in executive function. In both studies, improvement was reported for all 5 BADDS clusters at study endpoint versus baseline. While improvement was reported for all 6 AIM-A scales at study endpoint versus baseline, the most substantial change from baseline in AIM-A scores over the course of the studies was in Performance and Function (Study 1, +15.2 ± 25.68; Study 2, +26.3 ± 28.17). There was significant correlation of the BADDS total score with the AIM-A Performance and Function scale (Study 1, -0.6723; Study 2, -0.6982), and strong correlations were observed between each of the 5 individual clusters of BADDS and AIM-A performance and function in both studies.


Reported improvement in executive function correlates with reported improvement in HRQOL as assessed in 2 independent clinical trials in which participants received either placebo or triple-bead MAS for the treatment of ADHD. In particular, there were strong correlations between all 5 individual clusters of BADDS and the AIM-A Performance and Function scale.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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