Sunday, September 3, 2017


A new pilot study published in the Journal of Attention Disorder suggests that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) could improve symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults. 

MBCT is a structured, 8-week program that combines mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

In this pilot study the researchers enrolled 31 ADHD participants in an adapted form of MBCT, obtained self-report questionnaires, and interviewed 24 participants. The study found that mindfulness therapy significantly reduced ADHD symptoms and improved areas of executive functioning, self-compassion and mental health.

A larger trial is needed, but the small study is part of the emerging evidence that mindfulness therapies could play an important role in the treatment of ADHD.

A review published in May 2017 found that MBCT was a useful adjunct therapy to standard medication treatment of ADHD in young adults. Of the 12 trials published in the last 5 years, the majority have shown a reduction in ADHD severity with the addition of MBCT to standard treatment. There have been other studies which have made similar findings. (See ‘RELATED POSTS’, below.)

More research is needed in this area. However, the studies done to date suggest a promising and emerging role of mindfulness in the treatment of ADHD.

Study: Janssen L et al. ‘The Feasibility, Effectiveness, and Process of Change of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Adults With ADHD: A Mixed-Method Pilot Study.’ J Atten Disord. 2017 Aug 1:1087054717727350. doi: 10.1177/1087054717727350. [Epub ahead of print]


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