HealthDay News — There is greater evidence documenting the effectiveness of parent behavior training (PBT) than the use of methylphenidate for the treatment of young children at risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study published in Pediatrics.

Alice Charach, MD, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a literature review to identify 55 studies published from 1980 through 2011 that conducted interventions including PBT, combined home and school/day care interventions, and methylphenidate use in children younger than 6 years with clinically significant disruptive behavior, including ADHD.

The researchers found that of the eight “good” studies examining PBT, the standard of evidence (SOE) was high for improved child behavior, with minimal heterogeneity among a total of 424 participants. There was only one good study (with low SOE) for methylphenidate. There were inconsistent results with the combined home and school/day care interventions.

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“With more studies consistently documenting effectiveness, PBT interventions have greater evidence of effectiveness than methylphenidate for treatment of preschoolers at risk for ADHD,” Charach and colleagues wrote.


  1. Charach A et al. Pediatrics. 2013; doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-0974