Objective: To examine the pattern of individual responses to to methylphenidate (MPH) in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and to examine factors that predict drug response.
Method: Individual drug response was defined on the basis of changes on the Abbreviated Conners Rating Scales completed by parents and teachers. These scales were the main outcome measures in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of MPH. Response prediction was examined in stepwise discriminant analyses, in which baseline variables and the response to a single, 10-mg dose of MPH were entered.
Results: Predictors of a strong MPH response were a high IQ, considerable inattentiveness, young age, low severity of disorder, and low rates of anxiety. A positive response to a single dose of MPH significantly improved the prediction of less stringently defined levels of MPH response.
Conclusion: Only strong levels of response could be predicted by baseline characteristics. Severity of disorder based on clinical judgment and improvement after a single dose of MPH are found to be important contributors to response prediction.