Drug treatment of hyperactivity in children

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1983 Jun;25(3):358-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1983.tb13772.x.


Recently-developed quantitative reviewing procedures were applied to 61 selected studies in order to explore the efficacy of pharmacological management for children identified as hyperactive. Analysis of effect-size information derived from the studies revealed that the average child receiving drug treatment was less hyperactive than 88.5 per cent of the control children. 30 per cent of this effect could be attributed to placebo phenomenon. The analysis also indicated that drug therapy had the most pronounced effect on dependent variables consisting of standardized or informal measures of behaviour and the least effect on measures of IQ and academic achievement. The advantages of quantitative reviewing methodology for adding clarity and consensus to complex bodies of literature are demonstrated and discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans