Special Issue on Child HealthView this Special Issue
Attention Patterns in Children with Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity
The objective of this study was to differentiate the attention patterns associated with attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity using continuous performance test (CPT). The diagnoses were based on the DSM-III, III-R, and IV criteria and of the 39 children who participated in the study, 14 had attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADDH) and 11 had attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity (ADDWO), while 14 normal children served as a control group. Attention patterns were examined according to the performance of subjects on the CPT and parental scores on the ADHD Rating Scale, the Child Attention Profile, and the Conners Rating Scale. CPT performances were assessed before and after administration of 10 mg methylphenidate. We found as hypothesized that the CPT differentiated between the ADDH and ADDWO groups. However, contrary to our expectations, the ADDH children made more omission errors than the ADDWO children; they also showed more hyperactivity and impulsivity. The performance of both groups improved to an equal degree after the administration of methylphenidate. It is conluded that different subtypes of the attention deficit disorders are characterized by different attention profiles and that methylphenidate improves scores on test of continuous performance.