Epidemiological Profile of Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders in a Diagnostic Center in Southern Puerto Rico, 2006-2017

*Corresponding author: María Pacheco, Laura D. Bauzá, Iris Martínez and Luisa M. M. Torres*

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observational study

Abstract

Objective
This study has the purpose of developing an epidemiological profile of children with neurodevelopmental disorders in southern Puerto Rico.
Methods
This is an exploratory study with a mixed design that was carried out in a diagnostic center located in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The population under study were children within 0-18-years-old of both sexes diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder using the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-4) and DSM-5 criteria. The sample under investigation were all the children in the secondary database of children who received health services in the diagnostic center during 2016-2017. Additionally, to the data from the secondary database, a hand-writing record review was performed to obtain data related to comorbidities and family history. The bivariate and multivariate analysis evaluated the association between each neurodevelopmental disorder, and each disease reported in the family history of diseases. Also bivariate, and multivariate analysis assessed the association between each neurodevelopmental disorder, and each comorbidity reported.
Results and Conclusion
The mean age and standard deviation of the sample were 5.2±3.20, and 80.5% were males. Most of the children lived in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The sample size did not have normal distribution because the sample size was too small and selected by non-probabilistic methods. Furthermore, 88.2% of the children received a previous evaluation related to the problem, and 70.5% received treatment for the symptoms. The results revealed that neurodevelopmental disorders frequently co-occurred. Also, other comorbidities commonly co-occurred with these disorders. Mental disorders were commonly reported with autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and communication disorders. Autism was also linked to a family history of mental disorders.
Keywords
Childhood; Neurodevelopmental disorder; Disabilities; Developmental delays.