Efficacy of Osmotic-Release Oral System (OROS) Methylphenidate for Mothers With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Preliminary Report of Effects on ADHD Symptoms and Parenting

Objective: A preliminary study to examine the efficacy of osmotic-release oral system (OROS) methylphenidate for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and parenting behaviors in mothers with ADHD who had children with ADHD.

Method: Participants included 23 mother-child dyads in which both were diagnosed with DSM-IV ADHD. Mothers underwent a 5-week, double-blind titration (placebo, 36 mg/day, 54 mg/day, 72 mg/day, 90 mg/day) to an optimal dose of OROS methylphenidate, followed by random assignment to 2 weeks of placebo or their maximally effective dose. Primary outcome measures included maternal ADHD symptoms (Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale) and parenting (Alabama Parenting Questionnaire). Secondary outcomes included side effects ratings. Data were collected from December 2004 until August 2006.

Results: During Phase 1, mothers reported significant decreases in inattention (p < .001) and hyperactivity/impulsivity (p < .01) with increases in OROS methylphenidate dose. As dose increased, significant reductions in inconsistent discipline (p < .01) and corporal punishment use (p < .005) were also demonstrated. During Phase 2, small effects on inattention (d = 0.46) and hyperactivity/impulsivity (d = 0.38) were found for those randomly assigned to medication versus placebo. In addition, medium to large medication effects were found on maternal involvement (d = 0.52), poor monitoring/supervision (d = 0.70), and inconsistent discipline (d = 0.71), with small effects on corporal punishment (d = 0.42). During both phases, few adverse effects were noted.

Conclusions: OROS methylphenidate was well tolerated and was associated with significant improvement in maternal ADHD symptoms and parenting. Variable effects on parenting suggest that behavioral interventions may be necessary to address impairments in parenting among adults with ADHD.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00318981

J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69(12):1938-1947