Lifestyle changes or behavioural modification as treatment for ADHD?

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Lifestyle changes or behavioural modification as treatment for ADHD?

There seems to be an increasing number of children in South Africa diagnosed with ADHD, with increasing use of methylphenidate (e.g. Ritalin and Concerta) for treatment purposes.  While many psychologists express discomfort with what some believe to be an over-use of methylphenidate for treatment purposes, there seems to be little research in South Africa into alternatives to pharmacological treatment.

Since ADHD can be considered a neuro-behavioural/psycho-behavioural problem, it seems fitting that psychologists take the lead in exploring alternative treatments such as cognitive-behavioural interventions, behavioural modifications and/or lifestyle changes.

Examples of research that can be undertaken:

  • Efficacy of certain lifestyle changes in improving ADHD symptoms can be compared e.g. regular physical exercise compared to behavioural modification programmes.
  • Changes in sleep habits can be explored in an attempt to reduce ADHD symptoms.
  • Parenting styles and/or attitudes and their possible relationship to ADHD symptoms can be compared.
  • Age of exposure and amount of exposure to “screen time” e.g television, tablets and mobile phones and its relationship to ADHD symptoms can be explored.

Please leave a reply/comment below, especially if you are thinking of doing this research.