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The primary care paediatrician in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. An approach involving a population study
INTRODUCTION. There is a growing demand for diagnoses of children with learning problems and/or behavioural disorders in visits to paediatric and neuropaediatric units. One of the most frequent causes of this situation is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which has a high rate of incidence and is difficult to diagnose. The role of the Primary Care paediatrician in its screening and intervention is considered.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS. A population study was conducted in children between 6 and 12 years of age who attend schools in the Navarrese towns of Buñuel and Cortes. Conners test –modified and adapted by Farré and Narbona– (ADHS) and DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition) diagnostic criteria were used in their evaluation and diagnosis. School grades were also taken into account. In the group of ADHD children, a psychopedagogic and Mental Health evaluation were carried out if there were associated behavioural problems.
RESULTS. Findings as regards prevalence, sex and types of ADHD were in line with those in the literature. A statistically significant drop in academic achievement was noted both in children who satisfied ADHD criteria and in those who only met ADHS criteria. 55% of ADHD children who were changing from one academic cycle to another had to repeat their year at school and showed statistically significant differences as compared to the other groups.