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Pediatrics. 2001 Mar;107(3):E43.

Prevalence and assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in primary care settings.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.


Research literature relating to the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and co-occurring conditions in children from primary care settings and the general population is reviewed as the basis of the American Academy of Pediatrics clinical practice guideline for the assessment and diagnosis of ADHD. Epidemiologic studies revealed prevalence rates generally ranging from 4% to 12% in the general population of 6 to 12 year olds. Similar or slightly lower rates of ADHD were revealed in pediatric primary care settings. Other behavioral, emotional, and learning problems significantly co-occurred with ADHD. Also reviewed were rating scales and medical tests that could be employed in evaluating ADHD. The utility of using both parent- and teacher-completed rating scales that specifically assess symptoms of ADHD in the diagnostic process was supported. Recommendations were made regarding the assessment of children with suspected ADHD in the pediatric primary care setting.

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