Effects of Yoga on Attention, Impulsivity, and Hyperactivity in Preschool-Aged Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms.

Author: Cohen SCL1,2, Harvey DJ3, Shields RH4,2, Shields GS5, Rashedi RN6, Tancredi DJ1, Angkustsiri K1,2, Hansen RL1,2, Schweitzer JB7,2
Author Information:
1Department of Pediatrics, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA.
2MIND Institute, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA.
3Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California Davis, Davis, CA.
4Human Development Graduate Group, University of California Davis, Davis, CA.
5Department of Psychology, University of California Davis, Davis, CA.
6School of Education, University of California Davis, Davis, CA.
7Department of Psychiatry, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA.
Conference/Journal: J Dev Behav Pediatr.
Date published: 2018 Mar 13
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000552. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 220

OBJECTIVE: Behavioral therapies are first-line for preschoolers with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Studies support yoga for school-aged children with ADHD; this study evaluated yoga in preschoolers on parent- and teacher-rated attention/challenging behaviors, attentional control (Kinder Test of Attentional Performance [KiTAP]), and heart rate variability (HRV).

METHODS: This randomized waitlist-controlled trial tested a 6-week yoga intervention in preschoolers with ≥4 ADHD symptoms on the ADHD Rating Scale-IV Preschool Version. Group 1 (n = 12) practiced yoga first; Group 2 (n = 11) practiced yoga second. We collected data at 4 time points: baseline, T1 (6 weeks), T2 (12 weeks), and follow-up (3 months after T2).

RESULTS: At baseline, there were no significant differences between groups. At T1, Group 1 had faster reaction times on the KiTAP go/no-go task (p = 0.01, 95% confidence interval [CI], -371.1 to -59.1, d = -1.7), fewer distractibility errors of omission (p = 0.009, 95% CI, -14.2 to -2.3, d = -1.5), and more commission errors (p = 0.02, 95% CI, 1.4-14.8, d = 1.3) than Group 2. Children in Group 1 with more severe symptoms at baseline showed improvement at T1 versus control on parent-rated Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire hyperactivity inattention (β = -2.1, p = 0.04, 95% CI, -4.0 to -0.1) and inattention on the ADHD Rating Scale (β = -4.4, p = 0.02, 95% CI, -7.9 to -0.9). HRV measures did not differ between groups.

CONCLUSION: Yoga was associated with modest improvements on an objective measure of attention (KiTAP) and selective improvements on parent ratings.

PMID: 29538185 DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000552