The following is a summary of the “Moderators of long-term treatment outcome when comparing two group interventions for adolescents with ADHD: who benefits more from DBT-based skills training?” published in the December 2022 issue of Psychiatry by Meyer et al.

Although there has been a call for psychosocial therapies for teenagers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to address issues of emotional dysregulation and impulsive conduct, it is unclear whether a universally effective treatment exists due to the diversity of the population. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to determine which teenagers with ADHD might benefit from a structured skills training group (SSTG) based on dialectical behavioral therapy by examining pre-treatment variables as potential moderators of long-term treatment outcome. Data from a randomized controlled trial were used to create this study’s conclusions on the SSTG’s efficacy in treating ADHD in teenagers (n=71) against a psychoeducational control intervention (n=57). (15–18 years old). 

Potential mediators of change in ADHD symptoms and functional impairment from pre-treatment to follow-up were investigated (sex, age, medication status, ADHD presentation, severity of symptom, psychiatric comorbidity, impairment of emotional dysregulation, and functional impairment). The SPSS macro PROCESS was used to conduct the moderation analysis. As a consequence, a self-rated reduction in ADHD symptoms was found to be moderated by 3 components: severity of hyperactivity/impulsivity, behavioral issues, and impairment of emotional dysregulation. In addition, the SSTG outperformed the psychoeducational control intervention in helping those whose baseline scores were already high on these factors. 

When looking at how parents perceived outcomes, researchers identified no modifiers. If you’re an adolescent with ADHD and you think your child has serious issues with hyperactivity/impulsivity, behavioral issues, or trouble controlling their emotions, the SSTG may help. Their results need to be replicated in randomized controlled trials of skills training based on dialectical behavioral therapy for adolescents with ADHD, where the moderators in question could be employed as inclusion or stratification criteria.