Mary V. Solanto, PhD, Receives Award for Innovative Program Treating Adults with ADHD

Dr. Solanto was recognized by Children and Adults with ADHD for a new program using cognitive behavioral therapy to improve executive function in people with ADHD.

New York
 – December 12, 2011 /Press Release/  –– 

Mary V. Solanto, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Center at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, has been honored with the Innovative Program of the Year Award from Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD). CHADD is a national non-profit organization providing education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD. Dr. Solanto received the award for developing a one-of-a-kind approach to treating adults with ADHD through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which has proven highly effective in clinical research.

ADHD is medically recognized as a treatable yet potentially serious disorder, affecting eight percent of children, and an estimated four percent of adults. While medication can help control the disorder, many adults still battle the symptoms, which can affect their personal relationships, careers, financial security, and overall physical and mental health.

Dr. Solanto and her colleagues developed a program that uses CBT to teach skills and strategies in time- management, organization, and planning. The program also addresses feelings of demoralization, anxiety, and depression that often accompany these issues in people with ADHD. The therapy is conducted in group sessions of six to eight adults for two hours per week for 12 weeks. In research published last year in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. Solanto and her colleagues found that patients undergoing the novel CBT program saw significant improvement in executive function.

"I am honored to be recognized by CHADD with this prestigious award," said Dr. Solanto. "Medications, while often helpful, are not enough to ease the burden of ADHD for many people. We have demonstrated a promising therapeutic intervention that may help the millions of Americans with this disease improve their quality of life."  

Due to the success of the program at Mount Sinai, Dr. Solanto and her colleagues have developed a treatment manual for other centers around the country to build their own CBT program for these patients. The manual is included in their book, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD: Targeting Executive Dysfunction (Guilford Press, 2011). The manual describes the basic tenets of the program and also outlines its implementation in one-on-one therapy sessions.

The program observed 84 adults with diagnosed ADHD, who were selected following structured diagnostic interviews and standardized questionnaires. Participants were randomly assigned to receive CBT or supportive psychotherapy in a group setting. After 12 weeks, the CBT group members were significantly more improved than those in the support group.

The "Innovative Program of the Year" Award is given by CHADD to health care providers who find new and unique ways of addressing the needs of people with ADHD. Such efforts include developing new and innovative programs; modifying existing programs; accommodating the needs of the child through individually designed learning environments that highlight his or her special needs; and developing community-wide collaborative models.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center 

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Medical School is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report. 

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 16th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation’s top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Of the top 20 hospitals in the United States, Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and US News & World Report and whose hospital is on the US News & World Report Honor Roll. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place. 

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