Psychotherapy for adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a comparison with cognitive behaviour therapy



M. L. Chandler

2401 Jones Bridge Road


MD 20814




Accessible summary

  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder that persists into adulthood for more than half of those diagnosed.
  • Pharmacotherapy is the first line treatment, but alone may not be sufficient.
  • When comparing the effectiveness of researched psychotherapies, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is one of the most efficacious treatments.
  • This literature synthesis offers some intervention guidance for nurses and other clinicians who care for patients with ADHD.


Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a disorder generally associated with children, has become a valid disorder for adults in the last decade. The first line treatment of adult ADHD is medications, but historically there have been limitations to medication as the only treatment. Psychotherapy has become a feasible modality in the treatment of ADHD for those who have residual symptoms. The aim of this review of literature is to compare cognitive behaviour therapy with other psychotherapeutic treatment for effectiveness in improving symptoms of ADHD in adults and adolescences. The evidence-based practice approach by Stillwell et al. is adopted to guide the systematic review. The use of this small evidence utilization project that led to a synthesis of available research will provide direction for future research and expand knowledge in treatment for adult ADHD.