Objective: There is a need to develop optimized, evidence-based parent training programs tailored for preschoolers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The objective of this study was to explore a behavioral management training program aimed at the parents of preschool children with ADHD, which directly analyzes parent-child interaction from the perspective of system theory, and the intervention effect on ADHD in preschool children.
Methods: A multicenter randomized controlled study was conducted using system-based group therapy with 62 parents of preschool children with ADHD aged four to six years. ADHD symptoms, behavioral and emotional problems, and social functioning were compared with 61 control children whose parents did not receive training by applying the ADHD Rating Scale (ADHD-RS), Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and Questionnaire-Children with Difficulties (QCD) at the time of subject entry and at two and six months of entry, respectively.
Results: The results of the ADHD-RS assessment showed that children in the intervention group had significantly lower factor scores for attention deficit, hyperactivity, and impulsivity than the children in the control group after parental training and at follow-up (P < 0.05). Total scores on the SDQ scale, as well as character problems, hyperactivity, and peer interaction scores, significantly decreased with statistically significant differences (all P < 0.05), and emotional symptoms and prosocial behavior did not notable decline (P > 0.05). Compared with the control group, the total scores of the QCD scale and the scores of each factor in the intervention group remained significantly higher at the follow-up (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: After continuous intervention for eight weeks, parents were able to help the children with preschool ADHD to improve their ADHD symptoms and emotional behavioral and social functioning significantly, and the efficacy was maintained at the four-month follow-up; the systemic-based parent training in behavior management (PTBM) is applicable to the treatment of preschool ADHD and is worth promoting.
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