ADHD: Prevalence and Assessment of Executive Functions

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Prevalence and Assessment of Executive Functions

This project has received funding from Agencia Canaria de Investigación, Innovación y Sociedad de la Información from Consejería de Educación, Universidades y Sostenibilidad del Gobierno de Canarias, con ref. PI 2007/012 

The main purpose of this study has been to determine the prevalence of Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity (ADHD) in the Canary Islands in the population aged 6 to 12 years old. For this, the sampling design used was multistage stratified cluster proportional. The strata were the type of school (public, private), the Island (Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Palma, Lanzarote and Tenerife) and educational level (from first grade through sixth grade), and conglomerates were the schools. From a study sample of 116,467 students enrolled in mainstream schools, we obtained a sample of 2395 students. Scales were used Attention-Deficit/Hiperactivity Disorder Rating Scales IV (ADHD RS-IV) for parents and teachers. We found an overall prevalence of 4.9%, of which 3.1% were inattentive subtype, 1.1% hyperactive, and 0.6% combined. Also, as expected, the incidence was higher in males. There were no significant differences in the distribution of students identified with suspected ADHD among the provinces, or between islands, and neither between educational levels analyzed. This project also included the use of an assessment protocol that includes the selection of tasks that allow exploration of Attention (Jimenez et al., 2012), Working Memory (MT) (Hernández et al., 2012) the central executive system (i.e., tasks to assess inhibition, Martin et al., 2012), or cognitive flexibility (Rodriguez et al., 2012) or verbal fluency (Garcia et al., 2012) and planning (Diaz et al., 2012), which was standardized on a sample of school children of 6-12 years of the Canary Islands. The educational implications and social health of our findings suggest the importance of carrying out an identification, diagnosis and early treatment that will help children with ADHD can develop their full potential, and thus a significant reduction in public spending. The reader can find a demonstration of the instructions used in this research project in the video presented below: