Perceived benefits of the Playback Theatre for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: An exploratory study

Sze Man Tam, Herman Hay Ming Lo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Treatment options for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are limited. Some social work practitioners have attempted drama-based approaches to improve the functioning and well-being of such children. However, studies on such interventions are few, and their benefits to children with ADHD are uncertain. In this exploratory qualitative study, children with ADHD, their parents and a social worker were interviewed to investigate the perceived benefits of the Playback Theatre, a drama-based programme, particularly in terms of improvements in the executive functions that are often impaired in individuals with ADHD. Results of the study provided preliminary support that the Playback Theatre can improve all four dimensions of executive functions. Other improvements in social support and self-confidence of the children were also reported. The implications for future treatment model using the Playback Theatre, social work research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-253
Number of pages18
JournalChina Journal of Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019


  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • drama
  • Playback Theatre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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