Gamified Attention Training in the Primary School Classroom: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

J Atten Disord. 2021 Jun;25(8):1146-1159. doi: 10.1177/1087054719887435. Epub 2019 Nov 13.


Objective: This randomized controlled trial evaluated the efficacy of attention training delivered in class on cognitive attention processes, inattention, hyperactivity, working memory, and numeracy in primary school children. Method: Eight classes (n = 98 children; 5-9 years) were cluster randomized to gamified attention training, a placebo program, or a no-contact control condition. Assessments were conducted at baseline, immediately after the 5-week intervention (posttraining), and 6 months later (follow-up). Results: Posttraining, attention training was associated with reduced inattention and hyperactivity within the classroom compared with controls, and reduced hyperactivity at home compared with the no-contact control. At follow-up, reduced hyperactivity within the classroom compared with the no-contact control persisted. No effects of training on cognitive attention processes, working memory, and numeracy were observed posttraining. Conclusion: Classroom-based attention training has select benefits in reducing inattention and hyperactivity, but may not promote gains in cognitive or academic skills in primary school children.

Keywords: attention; children; cognitive training; numeracy; transfer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / therapy
  • Child
  • Cognition
  • Humans
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Schools