Goal management training improves executive control in adults with ADHD: an open trial employing attention network theory to examine effects on attention
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Psychology. 2022, 10, 207. 10.1186/s40359-022-00902-9
Background Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) typically experience poorer attentional control. According to the attention network theory, attentional control relies on three interacting networks of alerting, orienting, and executive control. In ADHD, it is mainly the alerting and executive control networks that are suggested and found to be compromised. Methods In the current study, we investigated if a group-based metacognitive remediation program (Goal Management Training [GMT]) in adults with ADHD would enhance attentional control using an experimental measure of the attention network theory. We expected that GMT would specifically enhance the executive control and alerting networks. Results Data from post- and follow up-assessments of 21 adults (age: 39.05 [11.93]) with ADHD who had completed GMT were included. Linear mixed-effects modeling revealed significant improvements in the functioning of the executive control network for the majority of the participants, although a small subset of participants showed a negative development following the intervention. Results also showed an improvement in the orienting network at follow up, but no change in the alerting network. Conclusion The results may indicate that improvements in the functioning of the executive control network are central to the positive effects of GMT reported in disorders characterized by impaired attentional control.