A pilot study of the efficacy of a computerized executive functioning remediation training with game elements for children with ADHD in an outpatient setting: outcome on parent- and teacher-rated executive functioning and ADHD behavior

J Atten Disord. 2014 Nov;18(8):699-712. doi: 10.1177/1087054712453167. Epub 2012 Aug 9.


Objective: This pilot study tested the short- and long-term efficacy (9 weeks follow-up) of an executive functioning (EF) remediation training with game elements for children with ADHD in an outpatient clinical setting, using a randomized controlled wait-list design. Furthermore, in a subsample, that is, those treated with methylphenidate, additive effects of the EF training were assessed.

Method: A total of 40 children (aged 8-12 years) were randomized to the EF training or wait-list. The training consisted of a 25-session training of inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and working memory. Treatment outcome was assessed by parent- and teacher-rated EF, ADHD, oppositional deviant disorder, and conduct disorder symptoms.

Results: Children in the EF training showed significantly more improvement than those in the wait-list condition on parent-rated EF and ADHD behavior in the total sample and in the subsample treated with methylphenidate. Effects were maintained at follow-up.

Conclusion: This pilot study shows promising evidence for the efficacy of an EF training with game elements.

Keywords: ADHD; child; cognitive; executive functioning; ing.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use
  • Parents / psychology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Play and Playthings
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waiting Lists
  • Watchful Waiting


  • Methylphenidate