Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder symptoms in a paediatric neurology clinic at a tertiary hospital in Uganda

South African Journal of Psychiatry

Field Value
Title Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder symptoms in a paediatric neurology clinic at a tertiary hospital in Uganda
Creator Arinda, Anita Nakasujja, Noeline Odokonyero, Raymond
Subject Medicine; Psychiatry prevalence; associated factors; autism spectrum disorder; neurological disorders; Uganda
Description Background: Children with neurological disorders are more likely to present with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms and get an ASD diagnosis. Despite the large burden of childhood neurological disorders in Uganda, there is limited information on ASD amongst children with neurological disorders in Uganda.Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and factors associated with ASD symptoms amongst children attending the paediatric neurology clinic.Setting: The study was conducted at the paediatric neurology clinic of Mulago National Referral Hospital in Uganda.Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 318 children aged 2–9 years. After obtaining consent, a socio-demographic questionnaire and the Social Communication Questionnaire were administered to the caregivers of the children. Additional questions were administered to assess the prenatal, birth and postnatal characteristics of the children. Sample characteristics were described using frequencies and means. Bivariate analysis was carried out using chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test. Multiple logistic regression models were used to assess which factors were independently associated with ASD symptoms.Results: The mean age of the children was 5 years and 58.2% were males. The prevalence of significant ASD symptoms was found to be 45%. Factors negatively associated with significant ASD symptoms were female sex (odds ratio [OR] 0.48 [95% CI 0.24, 0.98]) and ability to speak (OR 0.09 [95% CI 0.04, 0.2]). The history of delayed developmental milestones was positively associated with significant ASD symptoms (OR 3.3 [95% CI 1.59, 6.84]).Conclusion: The prevalence of ASD symptoms is high in children with neurological disorders. Children, especially those with delayed developmental milestones, should routinely be screened for ASD.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor Dr. Nelson Mukiiza Makerere University School of Public Heath Neuro-Genetics of African Populations (Neuro-GAP) study
Date 2021-01-28
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Cross-sectional study
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v27i0.1548
Source South African Journal of Psychiatry; Vol 27 (2021); 8 pages 2078-6786 1608-9685
Language eng
Coverage Africa November 2018- January2019 Age; children with neurological disorders
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Anita Arinda, Noeline Nakasujja, Raymond Odokonyero