S.S.Y.LIM1, J.S.H.TEO2, T.J.GOH2, C.G.LIM2, D.S.S.FUNG2, C.GUAN3, H.ZHANG4, T.S.LEE5
National University of Singapore1, Institute of Mental Health2, Nanyang Technological University3, Agency for Science, Technology and Research4, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School5
Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are reported to have problems in social competency. Brain-Computer interface (BCI) attention training program was efficacious in alleviating inattentive symptoms in children with ADHD. We explore possible secondary improvements in social functioning and thought problems in children receiving the program.
The sample consisted of 163 children, aged 6 to 12 years old (Mage = 8.63), who were clinically diagnosed with ADHD. They were randomly assigned to either the intervention or wait-list control group. The intervention group received 24 sessions of BCI-based program over 8 weeks. The wait-list control group underwent the same program after an 8 weeks’ time gap. Parents (Intervention) completed the Child Behavioral Checklist at pre- (T1) and post- (T2) treatment, while parents (Control) completed the same questionnaire at T1, pre- (T2) and post- (T3) treatment.
There were no differences between the groups at baseline (T1). Improvements in social and thought problem scores in the intervention group were not statistically significant compared to the waitlist-control group at T2. Pooled analysis indicated that children showed significant improvement in both areas of social, t(157) = 2.99, p = .003, and thought problems, t(157) = 3.04, p = .003, after receiving the program (T2 / T3).
Although BCI-based training primarily targets inattention, our findings suggest that children may also experience improvements in social functioning and thought regulation. Future research can examine the relationship between clinical inattention and thought problems, as well as investigate other benefits of attentional improvement from BCI-based therapy.