Context: Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. Stimulant medication is frequently used in management, with significant adverse effects. There is a growing interest in complementary treatments like yoga.
Aims: To study the effects of yoga as a complementary therapy in children with moderate to severe ADHD.
Settings and design: The study was performed on children (consent was taken from parents) admitted in a child psychiatry unit using an open-label exploratory study.
Materials and methods: Children between 5 and 16 years of age diagnosed with ADHD and co-operative for yoga were included. Subjects with other serious psychiatric and medical illnesses were excluded. The participants were given yoga training daily during their in-patient stay. They were rated on Conners' abbreviated rating scale - (CARS), ADHD-rating scale-IV (ADHD - RS IV) and clinical global impression (CGI)-Severity, at the beginning of study, at discharge and subsequently at the end of 1(st), 2(nd) and 3(rd) month by a research associate not involved in yoga instruction. Paired t-test was employed to compare the means of scores between baseline and follow-ups.
Results: A total of 9 children (8 males, 1 female) were recruited into the study. All, but one were on medications. An average of 8 yoga training sessions was given to subjects. They were able to learn yoga reasonably well. There was a significant improvement in the ADHD symptoms as assessed on CARS (P-0.014), ADHD-RS IV (P=0.021) and CGI- S scales (P=0.004) at the time of discharge.
Keywords: Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder; children; inpatients; yoga.