Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Among Rural Primary School Children in Southeastern Nigeria: Comparison of School and Home Settings
Background: Diagnosis of ADHD depends on manifestation of symptoms in at least two different settings. This therefore emphasizes the importance of multiple informants, parents and teachers. However perception could differ because of differences and inconsistencies across different settings. This is particularly important in rural settings in Africa where the educational attainment and outlook of teachers are very different from those of the parents. The study is aimed at comparing the presentations of children with ADHD in the rural area, across two different settings: home and school.
Methods: The teachers of 181 rural primary school children in Ogberuru in Imo state, south eastern, Nigeria completed the school version of ADHD rating scale-IV, and their parents completed a Socio demographic questionnaire and the home versions of the ADHD rating scale-IV.
Results: Of the 18 symptoms of the condition, there were significant differences in the rate of identification in eight symptoms. These symptoms include ‘being easily distracted’ (p=0.0427), ‘difficulty following through on instruction’ (p=0.0026), ‘fails to give close attention to details (p=0.0001), ‘avoids tasks necessary for tasks’ (p=0.0013), ‘difficulty playing quietly (p=0.0059 ) , ‘talks excessively’ (p=0.0023), ‘intrudes on others’ (p=0.0004), and ‘seems not to listen when spoken to directly’ (p=0.0002). They were all consistently more manifest in school settings than in their homes.
Conclusion: Teachers identified ADHD symptoms more commonly than parents. They could therefore play critical roles in programs aimed at improving early identification and management of children with ADHD especially in rural Africa where healthcare facilities are scarce.