The Effectiveness of Inhibition and Working Memory Training on ADHD and Comorbid Symptoms of Prison Inmates with Adult Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder



Introduction: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders that often persist into adulthood. ADHD is associated with a high percentage of comorbid psychiatric disorders. Studies suggest that ADHD is common among prison populations. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of inhibition and working memory training on ADHD and comorbid symptoms of prison inmates with ADHD.
Method: Through randomized sampling method, 30 adult male prison inmates in Gorgan State Prison who had formerly received ADHD diagnosis were recruited on a voluntary basis. Participants were randomly assigned to two experimental groups who received a computerized inhibition and working memory training programs for 25 sessions through 5 weeks, and a passive control group. To measure the severity of ADHD and comorbid psychiatric symptoms from before to after the training, the participants completed ASRS, Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory-2 (BDI-II) and Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-III).
Results: The inhibition didn't result in improving ADHD symptoms, but working memory training led to reducing hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms. Furthermore, post-test reduction in comorbid symptoms, e.g., anxiety and depression were observed.
Conclusion: The executive functions training especially working memory training not only has significant impacts on reducing ADHD symptoms, but also can be examined as an effective intervention for reducing comorbid symptoms with ADHD in future research.