Effectiveness of a Tailored Intervention for Women With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and ADHD Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Study

Am J Occup Ther. 2020 Jan/Feb;74(1):7401205010p1-7401205010p11. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2020.033316.


Importance: Women with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ADHD symptoms may experience difficulty carrying out desired life roles and activities.

Objective: To determine whether a 7-wk tailored occupation-based intervention can reduce perceived stress and ADHD symptoms and enhance perceived performance of and satisfaction with daily roles and activities among women with ADHD.

Design: Randomization to intervention (n = 11) and control (n = 12) groups.

Setting: Home and community.

Participants: Twenty-three participants ages 20-55 yr, English speaking, and with a self-reported diagnosis of ADHD.

Intervention: The intervention was administered for 7 wk in individual 1-hr sessions and addressed routine establishment, organization, time management, stress management, and sensory regulation in the home and community.

Outcomes and measures: Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Self-Report Scale, Perceived Stress Scale, and Canadian Occupational Performance Measure.

Results: At 1-wk postintervention, statistically significant differences were found between intervention and control groups in perceived stress (Z = -3.838, p < .000, d = -2.66), ADHD symptoms (Z = -3.605, p < .000, d = -2.17), and COPM Performance (Z = -4.074, p < .000, d = 3.04) and Satisfaction change scores (Z = -3.759, p < .000, d = 2.82).

Conclusion and relevance: A 7-wk tailored intervention reduced perceived stress and ADHD symptoms and enhanced perceived performance of and satisfaction with desired occupational roles and activities in a sample of women with ADHD. Further research is warranted to determine whether the intervention can be useful to women with ADHD beyond the present sample.

What this article adds: This intervention may offer an effective nonpharmacological option for women with ADHD symptoms.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / psychology
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Research Design
  • Self Report / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult