Neurodevelopmental disorders: prevalence and comorbidity in children referred to mental health services.

Nord J Psychiatry. 2018 Feb 28;:1-7

Authors: Hansen BH, Oerbeck B, Skirbekk B, Petrovski BÉ, Kristensen H

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Accurate prevalence rates of the neurodevelopmental disorders (ND) and comorbid conditions in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are essential for treatment planning and organization of health care. However, valid and reliable prevalence estimates from Nordic CAMHS populations are scarce, and the published findings vary.
AIMS: To report prevalence rates of ND (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: ADHD, tic disorder: TD or autism spectrum disorder: ASD) and comorbid disorders by a validated diagnostic instrument in children referred to CAMHS outpatient clinics.
METHODS: Parents of 407 consecutively referred children aged 7-13 years were interviewed with the semistructured interview schedule for affective disorders and schizophrenia, present and lifetime version (Kiddie-SADS-PL) at time of admittance.
RESULTS: One or more ND was diagnosed in 226 children (55.5%; 69.9% boys): ADHD (44.5%; 68.5% boys); TD (17.7%; 77.8% boys) and ASD (6.1%; 76% boys). Among children with ND 70 (31.0%) had only one ND with no comorbid disorder, 49 (21.7%) had more than one ND (homotypic comorbidity) and 131 (58%) had a non-ND psychiatric disorder (heterotypic comorbidity). Anxiety disorders were the most frequently occurring heterotypic comorbidity in all three ND. Comorbid depressive disorder was associated with older age, and comorbid anxiety disorder with female gender.
CONCLUSION: In children referred to CAMHS, ND constitute the most frequently occurring group of disorders, with high rates of both homotypic and heterotypic comorbidity. This needs to be taken into consideration in health service planning and treatment delivery.

PMID: 29488416 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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