Research: HONG and CHO,

Listed in Issue 192


HONG and CHO, Department of Neuropsychiatry, College of Korean medicine, Kyung Hee University, Hoegi-dong Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea sought to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture in patients with ADHD compared to the control group.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuro-psychiatric problem, affecting 7-9% of children. Pharmacological interventions are widely used with behavioral treatments in ADHD. Still, the origin of ADHD is unclear, limiting pharmacological effectiveness and making adverse effects common. The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has increased, especially for developmental and behavioral disorders, such as ADHD. CAM is used by 60-65% of parents of children with ADHD to relieve ADHD-associated symptoms and to avoid the side effects of conventional medication. Acupuncture has been widely used to treat patients with ADHD, but the available evidence of its effectiveness is insufficient.


This study is a waitlist controlled open trial. The authors used a computer generated randomization scheme. This randomised, controlled trial had two parallel arms (acupuncture, and waitlist group). Each arm consisted of 40 participants. The acupuncture group received acupuncture treatment two times per week for a total of 12 sessions over 6 weeks. Post-treatment follow-up was performed 3 weeks later to complement the 12 acupuncture sessions. Participants in the waitlist group did not receive acupuncture treatments during the first six weeks but were only required to be assessed. After 6 weeks, the same treatments given to the acupuncture group were provided to the waitlist group. The primary outcome of this trial included differences in Korean version of ADHD-Rating Scale (K-ADHD-RS) before randomization, 3 weeks and 6 weeks after randomization, and 3 weeks after completing the treatment.



DISCUSSION: Subjective measurements, like K-ADHD-RS, are commonly used in ADHD. Although these measurements have adequate reliability and validity, lack of objective assessment in ADHD may lead to some disputes, like parental placebo effects. More objective measurements, like Computerized Neurocognitive function Test (CNT) in this study, are needed in ADHD trials. Furthermore, this trial will provide evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for ADHD. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Research Information Service (CRiS) KCT0000019. Publication Type Journal Article. Randomized Controlled Trial. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't.


Hong SS, Cho SH. Acupuncture for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials [Electronic Resource]. 12:173, 2011. Other ID Source: NLM. PMC3148992. 2011.

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