Background: The need for accessible and motivating treatment approaches within mentalhealth has led to the development of an Internet-based serious game intervention (called Plan-ItCommander) as an adjunct to treatment as usual for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivitydisorder (ADHD).Objectives: To determine the effects of Plan-It Commander on daily life skills of children withADHD in a multisite randomized controlled crossover open-label trial.Methods: Participants (N=170) in this 20-week trial had a diagnosis of ADHD and ranged inage from 8 to 12 years (male: 80.6%, 137/170; female: 19.4%, 33/170). They were randomizedto a serious game intervention group (group 1; n=88) or a treatment-as-usual crossover group(group 2; n=82). Participants randomized to group 1 received a serious game intervention inaddition to treatment as usual for the first 10 weeks and then received treatment as usual for thenext 10 weeks. Participants randomized to group 2 received treatment as usual for the first 10weeks and crossed over to the serious game intervention in addition to treatment as usual forthe subsequent 10 weeks. Primary (parent report) and secondary (parent, teacher, and childself-report) outcome measures were administered at baseline, 10 weeks, and 10-week followup.Results: After 10 weeks, participants in group 1 group compared to group 2 achievedsignificantly greater improvements on the primary outcome of time management skills (parentreported; P=.004) and on secondary outcomes of time management (teacher reported; P=.09),the social skill of responsibility (parent reported; P=.04), and working memory (parent reported;P=.02). Parents and teachers reported that total social skills improved over time within groups,whereas effects on total social skills and teacher-reported planning/organizing skills werenonsignificant between groups. Within group 1, positive effects were maintained or furtherimproved in the last 10 weeks of the study. Participants in group 2, who played the seriousgame during the second period of the study (weeks 10 to 20), improved on comparable domainsof daily life functioning over time.Conclusions: Plan-It Commander offers an effective therapeutic approach as an adjunctintervention to traditional therapeutic ADHD approaches that improve functional outcomes indaily life.TrialRegistrationInternational Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 62056259;http://www.group 2led-trials.com/ISRCTN62056259 (Archived by WebCite® athttp://www.webcitation.org/6eNsiTDJV)
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- Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
- Randomized Controlled Trial
- Serious Game