Ongoing supervision 

 

  • Mats Niklasson (Sensorimotor therapy).

Aim and scope:

The purpose of the project is to explore whether sensorimotor therapy might constitute a complement to existing treatment methods for children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with or without a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). A study (Niklasson, Niklasson, & Norlander, 2009) with 232 children investigated effects of sensori-motor therapy according to the method Retraining for Balance (RB). The results yielded significant improvements in all age groups. Another study (Niklasson, Niklasson, & Norlander, 2010) indicated that there was positive development following the reported regressions. Studies show that ADHD is associated with both gross- and fine motor problems as well as with balance problems. Medication, educational support, or behavioral therapy, or some combination of those, constitute treatments typically used today. However, it is important to find further techniques in order to improve the treatment. Articles have stressed the importance of studies examining motor difficulties in order to initiate proper treatment as early as possible.

 

  • Fredrik Ulberstad (Diagnosis and treatment with ADHD).

Aim and scope:

The usability of laboratory measures to aid in the assessment and management of ADHD is dependent of the ability of the measures to add important value in the clinical setting. Laboraty tests that simultaneously registers the ability to regulate motor activity, impulsivity and attention has an interesting potential in this respect since it can provide data for all core signs of ADHD. However, given the multitude of potential variables that can be measured, a structured analyze of gathered variables is required in order for the test to be clinically useful. In a previous doctoral dissertation by Hanna Edebol at the Department of Psychology, Karlstad University, Sweden, it was shown that the construction of two composite measures yielded high validity in differentiating patients with ADHD from normative adult subjects. However, the ability of these measures to differentiate patients with ADHD from patients with other conditions, such as BPD, was limited. Also, the usability of these measures in children and adolescents was not studied and only limited data were provided on the usability to evaluate treatment response.

 

 In the present research project, well defined cohorts of patients with ADHD and common comorbid conditions, such as BPD, major depression and ASD, will be collected. By characterizing the test profiles in these clinical groups, a method to better differentiate patients with ADHD from other clinical groups. As an effect of this effort, the usability of laboratory measures in the assessment of ADHD may be further improved.

 

 In order to improve the evaluation of therapeutic interventions in ADHD with or without comorbidities, response patterns will be explored with the objective to identify specific response profiles including non-responders.

 

  • Tommy Nordén (Empowerment of clients)

 Aims and scope

Empowerment is a widely-used concept in many disciplines and research areas and the concept has been analyzed and discussed from various perspectives such as an organizational, community, individual perspective. The concept combines an attempt to improve the community with reciprocal help and mental health. A central concept within community psychology theory in the last 30 years has been psychological empowerment. It can be defined as “the psychological aspects of processes by which people gain greater control over their lives, participate in democratic decision-making, and develop critical awareness of their sociopolitical environments” (Zimmerman 2000). The purpose of the current Commentary is to describe and critically discuss the experiences of the implementation of the RACT model in Sweden and the possibilities of combining RACT and CBT.