Clinical trials that assessed the efficacy of long-acting stimulants in patients with ADHD over a one-day duration were eligible for inclusion where permanent product measure of performance (PERMP) scores or other mathematics tests were the primary outcome measures. Studies were required to use analogue classroom protocols or adult workplace environments. Studies of short-acting or non-oral stimulants, non-stimulants and medications not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and studies that included only minimal data on efficacy were excluded from the review.
The included studies employed randomised double- or single-blind placebo-controlled designs. The age range of patients in most trials was six to 12 years. Treatments were long-acting amphetamine formulations that included lisdexamphetamine dimesylate, mixed amphetamine salts extended release, dextroamphetamine extended release and long-acting methylphenidate formulations that comprised osmotically controlled-release oral delivery systems, methylphenidate extended release, methylphenidate spheroidal oral drug absorption systems and dexmethylphenidate extended release. The treatments were all given at a range of doses. Time points for measurement of efficacy of medications were one to 14 hours post-administration. Where reported, the outcome was duration of symptom improvement.
The authors did not state how many reviewers performed the study selection.