The objective of this study was to verify the prevalence of positive indicators for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children of public schools throughout the urban perimeter of Tubarão, Santa Catarina (SC). The study population composed of students enrolled in the first grades of 10 schools from the city of Tubarão. First, the teachers filled a standard questionnaire defined by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). Next, the caretakers of children that were screened positive were invited for the application of a psychosocial questionnaire. Later, consultations with specialists were made in order to confirm the disorder. Of the 908 students assessed, 8.59% had a positive screening for ADHD, with a boy:girl ratio of 2,1:1. The predominance of ADHD symptoms of inattention was most prevalent (4.29%). The definitive diagnosis of ADHD was identified in 50% of the cases. The application of the DSM-IV questionnaire results in a screening of possible ADHD cases. However, to confirm the diagnosis, it is necessary that a consultation should be done with a specialist, since only 50% of the cases were confirmed.
Key words: Attention deficit, hyperactivity, impulsivity, students, prevalence.
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