Objective: To study the usefulness of a new parent questionnaire and to evaluate the prevalence of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity and co-existing problems in a group of 6-8-year-old children.
Method: A questionnaire comprising 179 three-score-items including the DSM-IV diagnostic symptom criteria on AD/HD and questions on motor function, executive functions, perception, memory, language and speech, learning, social skills and psychiatric problems was used (5-15 questionnaire, FTF). The answers given by parents of 6-8-year-old children in a community in Finland are presented.
Results: The answers for 471 children, 230 boys and 241 girls, revealed a significantly higher rate of problems for boys than for girls in all developmental domains. The number of children with scores exceeding the mean +2 SD for inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity subdomains were 42. About an half of these children had many coexisting problems, when the 90(th) percentile score for each domain was used as a measurement. Of the 42 children 11 fulfilled the DSM-IV symptom list criteria (6/9 for inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity) for AD/HD and 9 children for subthreshold (5/9) AD/HD.
Conclusion: A community-based study revealed that 2.3% of 6-8-year-old children had the full symptom list criteria (6/9) of AD/HD according to DSM-IV, and another 1.9 % fulfilled the symptom criteria (5/9) for subthreshold AD/HD. Coexisting problems were common. The severity of symptoms of inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity correlated significantly with the severity of coexisting problems.