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Lilach Shalev, Yael Ashkenazy, Yarden Dody, Michal Gilad, Tamar Kolodny, Moran Pharchi; Computerized Progressive Attention Training (CPAT) in adults with ADHD - A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):432. doi: 10.1167/11.11.432.
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Deficits in sustained attention and in executive attention have been demonstrated to be important in both children- and adult-ADHD. Originally, the computerized progressive attentional training (CPAT) was designed and proved to be effective for children with ADHD. In the present study we investigated whether the CPAT is an effective intervention for adults with ADHD. The CPAT is composed of four sets of structured tasks that uniquely activate sustained attention, selective attention, orienting of attention and executive attention. Performance was driven by tight schedules of feedback and participants automatically advanced in ordered levels of difficulty contingent upon performance. Twenty one adults with ADHD were assigned to the experimental group and received the CPAT sessions twice a week over an 8-week period. Eighteen age-matched control adults with ADHD were assigned to the control group and participated in sessions of the same frequency, length and format except that instead of performing the attention training tasks they played four standard computer games (Glufo, Filler, String avoider and Tetris) during the session. There was a significant treatment effect for the sustained attention task, both post-intervention and at follow-up (2–3 months after the end of training). Moreover, at follow-up significant treatment effects were emerged for executive attention and impulsivity. This study showed that sustained-, executive-attention and impulsivity can be improved in adults with ADHD. Most importantly, we found significant correlations between the magnitude of improvement in all four functions of attention and both general features (i.e., consistency of performance across all training sessions) and specific features (i.e., the level of difficulty that participants achieved in the selective attention and executive attention training tasks) of the CPAT. We concluded that the attentional improvements were primarily due to the CPAT.
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