Teens needed for ADHD study

Researchers at the Montreal Children's Hospital are studying how different treatments affect teens with ADHD.

The Montreal Children’s Hospital is recruiting participants for a study on the impact of different treatments on teenagers with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Dr. Lily Hechtman, the principal investigator in the study and director of the hospital’s ADHD psychiatric clinic, says research has shown that the difficulties associated with the disorder – problems with time management, meeting deadlines, completing tasks – accumulate with age.

Children are well supervised in elementary school but they’re expected to be more autonomous in high school, which can be a difficult transition for a child with ADHD and can lead to them falling behind, Hechtman said.

Hechtman created a pilot program that uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help adults deal with the limitations of the disorder. This therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts determine our feelings and behaviour, and so patients are taught ways of thinking that will positively impact their lives. The aim is to have the program adapted for adolescents.

The study is open to teenagers aged 13 to 17 who have either been diagnosed with ADHD or whose parents suspect they may have the learning disability.

Participants will be prescribed a stimulant drug that is commonly used to treat ADHD.  Hechtman says the medication and dose will be tailored to each person.

There will be three groups: those who receive cognitive behaviour and skills therapy training, those who attend group therapy sessions, which work like a support group where teens can learn different coping mechanisms from their peers, and those who don’t receive any treatment other than what they already get.

The study lasts for about a year. For more information, contact Tara Errington at  514-412-4400 ext. 23286 or tara.errington@muhc.mcgill.ca.