Effects of Strattera and Behavior Therapy on the School and Home Functioning of Elementary School Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Background: Multiple studies have found Atomoxetine (Strattera) to be efficacious but there is only one published study specifically designed to evaluate its efficacy in school settings. In this 7 week placebo-controlled study, Atomoxetine (ATX) at mean dose of 1.3 mg/kg, significantly reduced teacher rated ADHD symptoms (Weiss et al., 2005). However, children are typically referred for treatment because of "real life" problems in functioning, not symptoms (Pelham, Fabiano, & Massetti, 2005). While ATX has been found to produce functional improvements at home, the Weiss study found limited results in this area at school.
Furthermore, almost no research has examined the effects of combining ATX and behavior therapy (BT). In the MTA, adding BT to stimulants improved teacher ratings of hyperactivity/impulsivity and increased the number of subjects reaching optimal response (Swanson et al., 2001). Therefore, it is possible that the addition of BT to ATX may improve functional performance in the classroom. The effects of combined therapy may be even larger for ATX as monotherapy with nonstimulants produces smaller effect sizes than with stimulants.
Objective: The primary objective was to evaluate the effects of ATX alone and in combination with BT on the school functioning of 56 children ages 6-12 with ADHD. Outcomes were assessed using traditional symptoms measures as well as functional measures of academic and behavioral improvements in the classroom.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Behavioral: Behavior Modification Therapy
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Effects of Strattera and Behavior Therapy on the School and Home Functioning of Elementary School Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)|
- improvement in ADHD symptoms at school [ Time Frame: 14 weeks ]
- improvement in ADHD symptoms at home [ Time Frame: 14 weeks ]
|Study Start Date:||January 2007|
|Study Completion Date:||May 2008|
|Primary Completion Date:||May 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Experimental: Combined therapy
atomoxetine plus behavior therapy
open label treatment dosed up to 1.8mg/kg/dayBehavioral: Behavior Modification Therapy
8 week behavioral modification course with school consultation, parenting groups using COPE and child social skills group
Active Comparator: Drug therapy
open label treatment dosed up to 1.8mg/kg/day
The objectives were evaluated in an 8 week open label trial of where half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive (ATX+BT) while the rest received only ATX. An open label design was employed as the efficacy of ATX for ADHD symptoms has been established and to ensure that all patients received at least one active treatment. Parents in the ATX+BT group attended an eight week parenting course using the Community Oriented Parent Education (COPE) program (Cunningham, Bremner, & Secord, 1998) while the child participated in an eight week social skills course. Teachers implemented a Daily Report Card (DRC) to track classroom behaviors. In the BT group, the child's DRC performance was communicated daily to parents and tied to consequences at home and school. In the ATX group, parents were not provided with the DRCs. The ATX dosing protocol was as follows: .5mg/kg per day on days 1-3, .8mg/kg/day days 4-7, 1.2mg/kg days 8+. After 3 weeks, subjects were eligible to increase to 1.8mg/kg/day. ATX was dosed once in the morning but could be dosed BID to address tolerability. The mean final dose was 1.4mg/kg/day.
To be enrolled, children must have had an IQ > 75, not failed a trial of ATX, met DSM criteria for ADHD but not other psychiatric comorbidities except ODD/CD and be in good physical health. Children already taking ADHD medication were enrolled only if the average symptom score on the ADHD subscale of the Disruptive Behaviors Disorders (DBD) scale was >2 (moderate impairment). ADHD was confirmed by parent report on the DISC and the DBD, which rates all DSM 3R and IV symptoms of ODD, CD and ODD on a 0-3 likert scale. Subjects were also required to evidence ADHD symptoms in the classroom as rated on the IOWA Conners. Psychiatric comorbidities were assessed using the DISC.
Measures of treatment response included:
- Parents and teacher ratings on the IOWA Conners: 10 item Likert ratings to measure children's inattention-overactive-impulsive and oppositional-defiant behavior (Milich, Loney, & Landau, 1982)
- Parent and teacher ratings on the Impairment Rating Scale (IRS): 8 items using visual-analogue scales to measure children's functional impairment in peer relationships, adult-child relationships, academic performance, classroom behavior, and self esteem (Fabiano et al., 2006).
- Parent and teacher side effect ratings using a structured list of common side effects seen with ATX modeled after the Pittsburgh Side Effects Rating Scale (Pelham, 1993).
- Direct observations of subjects to measure rule violations and on/off task behavior using a modified version of the COCADD system (Atkins, Pelham & Licht, 1988) in which trained observers watched children in their classroom for 30 minutes, recording each rule violation and off-task behavior.
- Parent and teacher rating on the Social Skills Rating Scale (SSRS): a measure of teachers' and parents perceptions of children's social and academic skills and of their overall problem behaviors (Gresham & Elliott, 1990).
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00918567
|United States, New York|
|Cennter for Children and Families|
|Buffalo, New York, United States, 14214|
|Principal Investigator:||James G Waxmonsky||SUNY Buffalo|
|Principal Investigator:||Daniel A Waschbusch||SUNY Buffalo|