African Journal of Psychiatry

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptom self-report among medical students in Eldoret, Kenya

L Atwoli, P Owiti, G Manguro, D Ndambuki


Objective: To determine the prevalence of self-reported attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms among medical students in Eldoret, Kenya. Method: A cross-sectional descriptive study of all medical students who gave consent to participate in the study. Undertaken at Moi University’s School of Medicine in Eldoret, Kenya. Comprising two hundred and fifty three (253) undergraduate medical students, with a mean age of 23.7 years (19-42, s.d. 4.1), of whom 51% were female. Measuring ADHD symptomatology using the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS v1.1). Results: The prevalence rate of self-reported ADHD symptoms using the ASRS screener was 23.7%. This was significantly associated with being in the age-group 17-20 years compared (p<0.05). The prevalence rate was higher among females (25.6%) than among males (21.8%), but this difference was not statistically significant. Preclinical students had a higher prevalence rate of ADHD symptoms (28.7%) compared to clinical students (19.6%), but this was also not statistically significant. Using a modification of the ASRS full symptom checklist to approximate a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) ADHD diagnosis yielded a ‘possible ADHD’ prevalence rate of 8.7%. Of these, the inattentive type was the most common (40.9%). Conclusion: The prevalence rate of self-reported ADHD symptoms among medical students in Eldoret is very high and possibly interferes with the students’ social and academic functioning. Further studies are suggested to generate information on the real ADHD prevalence in the general population and in special populations such as schools and colleges.

Key words: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Medical Students; Prevalence; Self-Report
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