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Parent training for preschool ADHD in routine, specialist care: a randomized controlled trial


Anne-Mette Lange

David Daley

Morten Frydenberg

Tine Houman

Lene Juel Kristensen

Charlotte Rask

Edmund Sonuga-Barke


Aparna Udupi

Per Hove Thomsen



Parent training (PT) is recommended for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preschool children. Evidence-based interventions are important, but only if they produce better outcomes than usual care.

We conducted a multi-center, two-arm parallel group randomized controlled trial in routine, specialist ADHD clinics in Danish Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Children (N=164, age 3-7) with ADHD received either a well-established PT programme (New Forest Parenting Programme (NFPP)) (n=88) or treatment as usual (TAU) (n=76). The primary outcome was parent ratings of child ADHD symptoms. Secondary outcomes included teacher ratings and direct observations of ADHD symptoms. Outcomes were measured at baseline (T1) and post-treatment (T2) and at follow-up (T3: 36 weeks after T2). Representativeness of participants was evaluated against the total national cohort of children (n=1378, age 3-7) diagnosed with ADHD during the same time period, using the Danish Civil Registration System. Statistical analysis employed a repeated measure model.

By T2, NFPP was superior to TAU on parent-rated ADHD symptoms (p=0.009; ES d.=0.30), and on parenting self-efficacy and family strain. Effects persisted to T3. There were no effects on teacher ratings or direct observations of ADHD or on ratings of conduct problems or parenting. Our clinical sample was similar to the national cohort of young children with ADHD.

Evidence-based PT has value as an intervention for preschool ADHD in routine clinical settings. As in previous trials effects were restricted to parent-reported outcomes. Surprisingly, there were no effects on child conduct problems.


Lange, A., Daley, D., Frydenberg, M., Houman, T., Kristensen, L. J., Rask, C., …Thomsen, P. H. (2018). Parent training for preschool ADHD in routine, specialist care: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 57(8), 593-602.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 26, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 18, 2018
Publication Date Aug 31, 2018
Deposit Date Jun 21, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jun 19, 2019
Journal Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Print ISSN 0890-8567
Electronic ISSN 1527-5418
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 57
Issue 8
Pages 593-602
Keywords attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; treatment; preschool; Psychosocial; Randomized Controlled Trial; routine care
Public URL
Publisher URL


Parent training for preschool ADHD in routine specialist care A randomized controlled trial Mette Lange Daley et al.pdf (794 Kb)


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