A systematic review of the benefits and mechanisms of family-based mind-body therapy programs targeting families of children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Yuan FANG, Jing LIU, Borui ZHANG, Man LAU, Ying Fung HO, Yaxi YANG, Yan Yancy SHI, Tsz Chun Eric POON, Choi Yeung Andy TSE, Fenghua SUN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Growing evidence indicates that family-based mind-body therapy programs (FMBTs) act as an important alternative for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment in the youth with minimal side-effects. Moreover, FMBTs contribute to improving the family functioning of those affected by ADHD. To summarize and analyze the benefits and mechanisms, an extensive literature search of the EBSCOhost, PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases was conducted to identify eligible studies. Fifteen studies published between 2010–2023 were reviewed. The included FMBTs were implemented with 850 children/adolescents and 996 parents/caregivers, of whom 201 parent couples attended the programs together with their children. All included FMBTs adopted mindfulness/meditation as the core practice to enhance the participants’ mental focus and attention, and were designed for long-term engagement, with six including parent–child joint session(s). Positive changes were observed in both children and adolescents, including improvements in ADHD symptoms, behavioral problems, executive function, and school performance. Additionally, parents experienced positive changes in ADHD traits/symptoms, mental health, and parenting behaviors. Furthermore, FMBTs were found to enhance family functioning by delivering mindful strategies to family, restoring psychological capacity and interpersonal skills in family members, and improving parent–child relationships. The reviewed FMBTs demonstrated high levels of feasibility and participant satisfaction. The factors and issues potentially influencing the effectiveness and feasibility of FMBTs are also discussed. The findings indicate that FMBT holds promise as an ADHD treatment option in home settings. Future efforts may focus on optimizing the design of FMBTs to better address the diverse needs of families in varying circumstances. Copyright © 2024 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Early online dateMar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2024

Citation

Fang, Y., Liu, J., Zhang, B., Lau, M., Ho, Y. F., Yang, Y., Shi, Y., Poon, E. T. C., Tse, A. C. Y., & Sun, F. (2024). A systematic review of the benefits and mechanisms of family-based mind-body therapy programs targeting families of children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/02654075241239878

Keywords

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Child
  • Family
  • Mind-body therapy
  • Mindfulness/meditation
  • Parent

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