Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder of childhood and adolescence and it is one of the most common psychiatric disorders that cause distress in the lives of both children and adult. If ADHD remains undetected the child may experience academic failure, rejection by peers, and develop low-self-esteem. Teachers are seen as one of the most valuable sources of information with regard to referral and diagnosis of ADHD. They also have the responsibility for creating an environment conductive to academic, social and emotional success for children with ADHD.
Aims & Objective: To assess the knowledge of primary school and kindergarten female teachers in Al-Rusaifah district, Makkah city, towards the diagnosis and the management of ADHD as well as factors associated with ADHD knowledge among them.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study among primary school and kindergarten female teachers working in Al-Rusaifah district, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, 2011. An interview questionnaire for diagnosis and management of ADHD in children was implemented. The questionnaire was designed in Arabic language. It consists of 38 questions covering 3 parts; regarding socio demographic features, general knowledge of ADHD with its coexisting conditions, and management of ADHD utilizing a questionnaire based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Ed) (DSM-IVR) diagnostic criteria.
Results: The study included 130 teachers with a response rate of 100%. Their age ranged between 22 and 58 years with a mean of 33.32 ± 7.77 years. More than half of the participants (72; 55.4%), responded that they had insufficient information regarding ADHD during their undergraduate stage. The majority (114; 87.7%) did not attend any conference regarding ADHD while (78; 60%) reported history of reading about ADHD. Relatively highest level of knowledge was observed for the items dealing with symptoms and facts related to diagnosis of ADHD (71.75%) while the lowest level of knowledge was revealed for the items reflecting general knowledge about ADHD (37%). The overall mean percentage of correct answers was 58.9%. The mean percentage of score reflecting knowledge of the teachers about diagnosis of ADHD was significantly higher among teachers aged 25 years or below as compared to older teachers. The majority of teachers (84.6%) agreed that they have an active role in the management of ADHD and that teachers should play an active role in ADHD management if combined with drugs (83.8%).
Conclusion: In conclusion, an inadequacy of knowledge regarding ADHD among a sample of female teachers in Al-Rusaifah district, Makkah, was observed. This inadequacy of knowledge raises serious questions about the screening of ADHD at the level of schools in Makkah.
Key words: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Knowledge; Misperceptions; Saudi Arabia