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Effects Of A Computerized Working Memory Training Program On Attention, Working Memory, And Academics, In Adolescents With Severe ADHD/LD

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00930449
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 30, 2009
Last Update Posted : May 27, 2015
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Rosemary Tannock, The Hospital for Sick Children

Brief Summary:
Our primary aim is to determine whether a computerized working memory (WM) training program will help students with severe learning and attention problems, in terms of improving their WM. Additional aims are to determine whether the WM training will also result in improvements in the students' concentration and school work, and how long any beneficial effects will last (i.e., whether the students will continue to show improvements once the training program has stopped).

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Attention Deficit Disorder With Hyperactivity Learning Disorders Other: Cogmed Working Memory Training Program. Other: Academy of Math Other: Special Education/Individualized Tutoring Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
We have established a collaborative partnership between OISE, HSC, OPDS, and JVS to evaluate the effectiveness of a WM training program when conducted in a school setting. To determine whether the WM training program does improve WM, attention, behaviour, and/or academic achievement, we will compare its effects to those expected to result from two other intervention programs that focus on academic skills only: 1) a computerized software program known to improve math skills (Academy of Math®); and 2) extra, individualized tutoring in an area of academic weakness supervised by a trained and experienced staff person. We will assess WM, related cognitive abilities, ADHD symptoms, academic achievement, before and after intervention, and also at 3- and 6-month follow-up to determine whether any improvements are sustained and increased after the training has finished.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 120 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects Of A Computerized Working Memory Training Program On Attention, Working Memory, And Academics, In Adolescents With Severe ADHD/LD
Study Start Date : November 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : January 2012

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Cogmed Working Memory Training Program Other: Cogmed Working Memory Training Program.

This program includes a set of visual-spatial and auditory-verbal WM tasks presented via the computer (see Appendix 1 for a description of these tasks). All tasks involve: a) maintenance of simultaneous mental representations of multiple stimuli; b) unique sequencing of stimulus order in each trial; and c) progressive adaptation of difficulty level as a function of individual performance.

Training will require about 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for 5-6 weeks: participants are required to complete 90 WM trials on each training day. Training plans are individualized and are modified according to performance, but the typical plan includes 13 tasks, with 15 trials of 8 tasks each day.

Active Comparator: Academy of Math® program Other: Academy of Math

This is an established evidence-based program designed to help at-risk learners (Grades K-12) develop mathematical proficiency by incorporating a mastery-learning approach to foster conceptual understanding, computational fluency, and strategic competency across 10 mathematical subject areas.

Training is will require about 30 minutes, 5 days per week, for the same duration as the WM program (5-6 weeks), with a counselor or teacher acting as the training aide.

Active Comparator: Special Education/Individualized Tutoring Other: Special Education/Individualized Tutoring
Students in this group will receive an additional 30 minutes daily of individualized supplemental instruction in their area of greatest academic need.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. CANTAB Spatial Working Memory [ Time Frame: 15-20 min ]
  2. Automated Working Memory Assessment Listening Recall [ Time Frame: 15-20 min ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Teacher - Strengths and Weakness of ADHD-symptoms and Normal-behavior scale (SWAN) [ Time Frame: 5 min/student ]
  2. Teacher - Children's Organizational Skills Scale [ Time Frame: 5 min/student ]
  3. Wide Range Achievement Test 4 Progress Monitoring Version: word reading, spelling, sentence comprehension, math computation [ Time Frame: 10-15 min ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   12 Years to 17 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • fulltime enrollment at one of the three English-language speaking OPDS schools
  • confirmed diagnosis of a specific LD with or without comorbid ADHD
  • IQ > 80 (based on WISC-IV)
  • English as the primary spoken language

Exclusion Criteria:

  • uncorrected sensory impairments (vision, hearing)
  • severe comorbid mental health disorders requiring medications other than those used for ADHD or intensive treatment
  • severe impairments in oral communication, impeding intelligibility of spoken responses

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00930449

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Canada, Ontario
Ontario Provincial and Demonstration Schools
Milton, Ontario, Canada
The Hospital for Sick Children
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 1X8
Sponsors and Collaborators
The Hospital for Sick Children
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
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Principal Investigator: Rosemary Tannock, MD The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto Canada

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Responsible Party: Rosemary Tannock, Senior Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children Identifier: NCT00930449     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1000013779
First Posted: June 30, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 27, 2015
Last Verified: May 2015

Keywords provided by Rosemary Tannock, The Hospital for Sick Children:
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Learning Disorder
Computerized Working Memory Training Program

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Learning Disorders
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Pathologic Processes
Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
Communication Disorders
Neurobehavioral Manifestations