Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Psychiatry and BioMed Central.

Open Access Study protocol

Investigating the efficacy of integrated cognitive behavioral therapy for adult treatment seeking substance use disorder patients with comorbid ADHD: study protocol of a randomized controlled trial

Katelijne van Emmerik–van Oortmerssen1234*, Ellen Vedel12, Maarten W Koeter3, Kim de Bruijn12, Jack J M Dekker1, Wim van den Brink3 and Robert A Schoevers4

Author Affiliations

1 Arkin Mental Health Care and Addiction Treatment Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Jellinek Substance Abuse Treatment Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

4 Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Psychiatry 2013, 13:132  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-132

Published: 10 May 2013

Abstract

Background

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) frequently co-occurs with substance use disorders (SUD). The combination of ADHD and SUD is associated with a negative prognosis of both SUD and ADHD. Pharmacological treatments of comorbid ADHD in adult patients with SUD have not been very successful. Recent studies show positive effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in ADHD patients without SUD, but CBT has not been studied in ADHD patients with comorbid SUD.

Methods/design

This paper presents the protocol of a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of an integrated CBT protocol aimed at reducing SUD as well as ADHD symptoms in SUD patients with a comorbid diagnosis of ADHD. The experimental group receives 15 CBT sessions directed at symptom reduction of SUD as well as ADHD. The control group receives treatment as usual, i.e. 10 CBT sessions directed at symptom reduction of SUD only. The primary outcome is the level of self-reported ADHD symptoms. Secondary outcomes include measures of substance use, depression and anxiety, quality of life, health care consumption and neuropsychological functions.

Discussion

This is the first randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of an integrated CBT protocol for adult SUD patients with a comorbid diagnosis of ADHD. The rationale for the trial, the design, and the strengths and limitations of the study are discussed.

Trial registration

This trial is registered in http://www.clinicaltrials.gov webcite as NCT01431235.

Keywords:
ADHD; SUD; Cognitive behavioral therapy; Adult; Integrated treatment