An exploration of site effects in a multisite trial of OROS-methylphenidate for smokers with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Lirio S. Covey, Mei Chen Hu, Carla A. Green, Gregory Brigham, Richard D. Hurt, Lenard Adler, Theresa Winhusen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Multisite trials, the gold standard for conducting studies in community-based settings, can mask variability across sites resulting in misrepresentation of effects in specific sites. In a placebo-controlled trial of osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate (OROS-MPH) as augmentation treatment for smokers with attention deficit hyperactivity/impulsivity disorder (ADHD), three types of sites were selected according to their clinical research specialty (ADHD, smoking cessation, and general mental health). Objective: Analysis was conducted to determine if clinical outcomes, that is, reduction in ADHD symptoms and smoking cessation rates, and the effect of treatment on these outcomes would differ by type of site. Method: A total of 255 adult smokers diagnosed with ADHD were enrolled in three clinic types: 72 in ADHD, 79 in tobacco dependence, and 104 in the mental health clinics. Results: The three site-types were similar in demographic characteristics, smoking history, baseline level of ADHD symptoms, and history of psychiatric illness. Site-type but not a site-type by treatment interaction predicted prolonged smoking abstinence. A significant three-way interaction of site-type, treatment, and time-predicted improvement in ADHD symptoms. Moderate to strong effects of OROS-MPH relative to placebo were observed in the mental health and the ADHD clinics; a weak effect was observed in the tobacco dependence clinics. Conclusion: OROS-MPH benefit varied by site for reducing ADHD symptoms but not for improving smoking abstinence. Scientific Significance: Assessment of site-type effects can indicate the generalizability of findings from multisite trials and should be routinely incorporated in the design of multisite trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-399
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Multisite trials
  • OROS-methylphenidate
  • Site effects
  • Smokers with ADHD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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