Prevalence and comorbidity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Spain: study protocol for extending a systematic review with updated meta-analysis of observational studies

Syst Rev. 2019 Feb 11;8(1):49. doi: 10.1186/s13643-019-0967-y.


Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a childhood-onset disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of symptoms of developmentally inappropriate and impaired inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity, with difficulties often continuing into adulthood. ADHD can come with other comorbid conditions. The aim of this study will be to quantify the prevalence and comorbidity of ADHD among children, adolescent, and adult population in Spain.

Methods/design: We designed and registered a study protocol for an update and expansion of a systematic review and meta-analysis of pooled prevalence data. We will include cross-sectional observational studies reporting prevalence of ADHD in Spain and conducted in the general population, outpatient, and/or school settings. The primary outcome will be the prevalence of ADHD. Secondary outcomes will be the prevalence of any physical or mental comorbidity in association with ADHD. No limitations will be imposed on publication status, study conduct period, and language of dissemination. Comprehensive literature searches will be conducted in multiple electronic databases, including PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, PsycINFO, IME - Spanish Medical Index, and IBECS - Spanish Bibliographic Index of Health Sciences. We will also search Google Scholar, dissertation databases, and conference abstracts. Two team members will independently screen all citations, full-text articles, and abstract data. Potential conflicts will be resolved through discussion. The methodological quality (or risk of bias) of individual studies will be appraised using an appropriate tool. If feasible, we will conduct random effects meta-analysis. Prevalence estimates will be stratified according to gender, age, and geographical location. Additional analyses will be conducted to explore the potential sources of heterogeneity (e.g., methodological quality, sample size, diagnostic criteria).

Discussion: This systematic review and meta-analysis of observational data will provide an updated synthesis of the prevalence and comorbidity of ADHD in Spain. This study will also examine factors that may explain potential variations in prevalence data. The findings of this study will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42018106082 .

Keywords: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; Comorbidity; Epidemiological study; Meta-analysis; Prevalence; Spain; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Prevalence
  • Research Design
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic*