Objective: To conduct a post hoc investigation of the utility of a single composite measure of treatment outcome for the NIMH Collaborative Multisite Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA) at 14 months postbaseline.
Background: Examination of multiple measures one at a time in the main MTA intent-to-treat outcome analyses failed to detect a statistically significant advantage of combined treatment (Comb) over medication management (MedMgt). A measure that increases power and precision using a single outcome score may be a useful alternative to multiple outcome measures.
Method: Factor analysis of baseline scores yielded two "source factors" (parent and teacher) and one "instrument factor" (parent-child interactions). A composite score was created from the average of standardized parent and teacher measures.
Results: The composite was internally consistent (alpha = .83), reliable (test-retest over 3 months = 0.86), and correlated 0.61 with clinician global judgments. In an intent-to-treat analysis, Comb was statistically significantly better than all other treatments, with effect sizes ranging from small (0.28) versus MedMgt, to moderately large (0.70) versus a community comparison group.
Conclusions: A composite of ADHD variables may be an important tool in future treatment trials with ADHD and may avoid some of the statistical limitations of multiple measures.