African Health Sciences

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Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder among school children in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

E Kashala, T Tylleskar, I Elgen, K T Kayembe, K Sommerfelt


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence and determinants of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms among school children in Kinshasa, an African urban setting.
Methods: The 18-items of the Disruptive Behaviour Disorder rating scale (DBD), which is based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for mental disorders 4th edition (DSM-IV), were used to investigate the presence of ADHD symptoms. Parents interviews, using a questionnaire specially designed for the study, were performed to identify socio-demographic characteristics. All children were subject to a clinical examination.
Results: The estimated prevalence of DSM-IV ADHD symptoms was 6 %. Those with family health problems, younger age at start of primary school, good nutritional status and poor school performance more often had DSM-IV ADHD symptoms.
Conclusions: ADHD symptoms are as common among school children in Kinshasa as elsewhere. The socio-demographic factors described as risk factors for ADHD in high-income countries were not identified in this study.

Keywords: D, DSM-IV, school children, risk factors.

African Health Sciences Vol. 5 (3) 2005: pp. 172-181

AJOL African Journals Online