The Effect of Computer-Assisted Cognitive Rehabilitation and Drug Therapy on Response Inhibition and Reaction Time of Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder



Introduction: It is assumed that Computer-Assisted Cognitive Rehabilitation (CACR) in the treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), have corresponding effects to those of stimulant drugs but its effects last longer than drugs, without concerning side-effects. The aim of current research was to test these hypotheses.
Method: 34, 6 to 11 years old ADHD children were selected from schools of Tehran. At pretest, behavioral ratings were done using SNAP-IV and CBCL scales, and intellectual evaluations were done using Raven test. Matched blocks were made using intelligence and the severity scores of the disorder, and then subjects were randomly assigned into groups from these blocks. All Participants completed Continues Performance Test (CPT) at pretest, posttest, and follow up.
Results: There were no significant differences between the two groups on pretest to posttest variations of commission error. Consideration of pretest to posttest variations of CPT reaction time (RT) showed that the CACR group had a significantly lower RT than drug group. Further, consideration of pretest to follow-up variations showed that CACR decreased commission error and RT significantly more than drug therapy. Indeed, contrary to CACR group, drug therapy group returned to base line level at follow-up.
Conclusion: CACR can have effects corresponding to those of stimulant drugs in improving the attention of ADHD children. However, once the treatment have finished, the therapeutic gains from CACR show more permanence than those of stimulant drugs.