Computerized progressive attentional training (CPAT) program: effective direct intervention for children with ADHD

Child Neuropsychol. 2007 Jul;13(4):382-8. doi: 10.1080/09297040600770787.


We tested the efficacy of a pioneering intervention program grounded in a contemporary theoretical framework of attention and designed to directly improve the various attentional functions of children with ADHD. The computerized progressive attentional training (CPAT) program is composed of four sets of structured tasks that uniquely activate sustained attention, selective attention, orienting of attention, and executive attention. Performance was driven by tight schedules of feedback and participants automatically advanced in ordered levels of difficulty contingent upon performance. Twenty 6- to 13-year-old children with ADHD were assigned to the experimental group and received the CPAT sessions twice a week over an 8-week period. Sixteen age-matched control children with ADHD were assigned to the control group and participated in sessions of the same frequency, length, and format except that instead of performing the training tasks they played various computer games during the session. The experimental participants showed a significant improvement in nontrained measures of reading comprehension, and passage copying as well as a significant reduction of parents' reports of inattentiveness. No significant improvements were observed in the control group. We thus concluded that the above academic and attentional improvements were primarily due to the CPAT.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Attention*
  • Child
  • Cognition
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Feedback, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orientation
  • Reading
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome