Attitudes and preferences toward exercise interventions in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A survey study

William G. Cochrane, Larisa M. Dinu, Natalia B. Kika, Eleanor J. Dommett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity, causing significant functional impairment. Current pharmacological treatments have significant side effects and concerns about abuse potential. Exercise interventions show promise, but adequately powered controlled studies are lacking, particularly in adults. Before embarking on large-scale trials, the willingness and feasibility of using exercise as a standalone or adjunct treatment in adults with ADHD must be determined. We used an online survey to assess the attitudes and preferences to exercise in 117 medicated and unmedicated UK-based adults with ADHD. Intervention preferences and characteristics, and exercise logs were also investigated. Analysis revealed that participants’ willingness to engage in exercise as a standalone treatment differed based on medication use. Despite this, exercise interventions were considered feasible, with most willing to dedicate considerable time to exercise. In terms of support, the most popular approaches were in-person support from a personal trainer or healthcare professional or independent exercise following a personalized plan. The current study was dominated by young adult females and relied on self-report but remains the first study to assess preferences for exercise interventions in those with ADHD and holds important implications for future exercise interventions in adults with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-285
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • 'adjunct treatment'
  • ADHD
  • Exercise
  • feasibility
  • willingness

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