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QUESTIONS: In patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), what are the short term and long term effectiveness and safety of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions? Are combined interventions more effective than single interventions?
Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966–97), CINAHL (1982–97), PsycINFO (1984–97), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1984–97), and the Cochrane Library and by reviewing references of relevant studies, web sites of organisations funding research on ADHD, and files of research team members and partner organisations.
Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of treatment for ADHD published in peer reviewed journals. Specific interventions considered were drug compared with drug (methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, and pemoline), placebo compared with tricyclic antidepressant, drug compared with non-drug, combination treatments, long term treatments (≥12 wks), treatments for ADHD in adults, and adverse effects.
Data were extracted by 2 independent reviewers on 41 study elements, including methodological quality, study design attributes, funding, patient characteristics, sampling issues, diagnosis, …