Pilot Feasibility Study of Binaural Auditory Beats for Reducing Symptoms of Inattention in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder


      The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the potential for the use of binaural auditory beat stimulation to reduce the symptom of inattention in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.


      This pilot study had a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design. Twenty participants were randomly assigned to listen to either an audio program on compact disk that contained binaural auditory beats or a sham audio program that did not have binaural beats for 20 minutes, three times a week for 3 weeks. The Children's Color Trails Test, the Color Trails Test, the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), and the Homework Problem Checklist were used to measure changes in inattention pre- and postintervention.


      Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to analyze pre- and postintervention scores on the Color Trails Tests, Homework Problem Checklist, and the TOVA. The effect of time was significant on the Color Trails Test. However, there were no significant group differences on the Color Trails Test or the TOVA scores postintervention. Parents reported that the study participants had fewer homework problems postintervention.


      The results from this study indicate that binaural auditory beat stimulation did not significantly reduce the symptom of inattention in the experimental group. However, parents and adolescents stated that homework problems due to inattention improved during the 3-week study. Parents and participants stated that the modality was easy to use and helpful. Therefore, this modality should be studied over a longer time frame in a larger sample to further its effectiveness to reduce the symptom of inattention in those diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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