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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Psychiatry 1/2017

Prevalence and correlates for ADHD and relation with social and academic functioning among children and adolescents with HIV/AIDS in Uganda

BMC Psychiatry > Ausgabe 1/2017
Richard Stephen Mpango, Eugene Kinyanda, Godfrey Zari Rukundo, Jonathan Levin, Kenneth D. Gadow, Vikram Patel
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12888-017-1488-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), its associated correlates and relations with clinical and behavioural problems among children and adolescents with HIV/AIDS (CA-HIV) attending five HIV clinics in central and South Western Uganda.


This study used a quantitative design that involved a random sample of 1339 children and adolescents with HIV and their caregivers. The Participants completed an extensive battery of measures including a standardized DSM-5 referenced rating scale, the parent version (5–18 years) of the Child and Adolescent Symptom Inventory-5 (CASI-5). Using logistic regression, we estimated the prevalence of ADHD and presentations, correlates and its impact on negative clinical and behavioural factors.


The overall prevalence of ADHD was 6% (n = 81; 95%CI, 4.8–7.5%). The predominantly inattentive presentation was the most common (3.7%) whereas the combined presentation was the least prevalent (0.7%). Several correlates were associated with ADHD: socio-demographic (age, sex and socio-economic status); caregiver (caregiver psychological distress and marginally, caregiver educational attainment); child’s psychosocial environment (quality of child-caregiver relationship, history of physical abuse and marginally, orphanhood); and HIV illness parameters (marginally, CD4 counts). ADHD was associated with poor academic performance, school disciplinary problems and early onset of sexual intercourse.


ADHD impacts the lives of many CA-HIV and is associated with poorer academic performance and earlier onset of sexual intercourse. There is an urgent need to integrate the delivery of mental health services into routine clinical care for CA-HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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