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Knowledge and Attitudes About Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Specific Learning Disorder in an Urban Indian Population

Mukherjee, Sayantani MBBS, MD; Shah, Henal R. MBBS, MD; Ramanathan, Seethalakshmi MD; Dewan, Mantosh MD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: June 2016 - Volume 204 - Issue 6 - p 458–463
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000524
Original Articles

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and specific learning disorders (SLDs) are an important cause of scholastic backwardness among children and often go unrecognized. Few studies have examined knowledge and attitudes toward ADHD and SLD among school-aged children. To address this deficit, 120 school-aged children, attending a child guidance clinic in Mumbai, were interviewed using a questionnaire that examined children’s knowledge and attitudes about ADHD and SLD. The results were compared both qualitatively and quantitatively with a frequently occurring medical illness, common cold. Approximately 80% to 100% of children were aware of their illness; however, a large variation was noted in the proportion of children (15%–80%) who could describe their symptoms, provide accurate attributions for their illness, and identify treatment modalities. Children with ADHD reported greater control over their illness. The study identified a significant lack of knowledge about ADHD and SLD among school-aged children in India and discusses implications of this finding.

*Department of Psychiatry, Topiwala National Medical College, Mumbai, India; †Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, SUNY Upstate Medical University; and ‡Hutchings Psychiatric Center, Syracuse, NY.

Send reprint requests to Seethalakshmi Ramanathan, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 650 Madison St, Syracuse, NY 13210. E-mail:

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