Objectives: To develop a categorical outcome measure related to clinical decisions and to perform secondary analyses to supplement the primary analyses of the NIMH Collaborative Multisite Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA).
Method: End-of-treatment status was summarized by averaging the parent and teacher ratings of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder symptoms on the Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham, version IV (SNAP-IV) scale, and low symptom-severity ("Just a Little") on this continuous measure was set as a clinical cutoff to form a categorical outcome measure reflecting successful treatment. Three orthogonal comparisons of the treatment groups (combined treatment [Comb], medication management [MedMgt], behavioral treatment [Beh], and community comparison [CC]) evaluated hypotheses about the MTA medication algorithm ("Comb + MedMgt versus Beh + CC"), multimodality superiority ("Comb versus MedMgt"), and psychosocial substitution ("Beh versus CC").
Results: The summary of SNAP-IV ratings across sources and domains increased the precision of measurement by 30%. The secondary analyses of group differences in success rates (Comb = 68%; MedMgt = 56%; Beh = 34%; CC = 25%) confirmed the large effect of the MTA medication algorithm and a smaller effect of multimodality superiority, which was now statistically significant (p < .05). The psychosocial substitution effect remained negligible and nonsignificant.
Conclusion: These secondary analyses confirm the primary findings and clarify clinical decisions about the choice between multimodal and unimodal treatment with medication.