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Current state of knowledge on the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood according to the DSM-5: a systematic review in accordance with the PRISMA criteria

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Objective: To interpret the current evidence on the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) through a systematic review based on both DSM-5 (2013) and PRISMA criteria. Method: Empirical studies complying with the PRISMA guidelines were identified from four databases (PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, and ProQuest) and systematically reviewed. In total, 17 articles were selected for the study. Results: In the scientific literature, there have been only a few studies measuring the prevalence of NDDs according to the DSM-5 (2013) criteria in people under 18 years old. The reported prevalence rates were as follows: intellectual disability (ID), 0.63%; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 5-11%; autism spectrum disorder (ASD), 0.70-3%; specific learning disorder (SLD), 3-10%; communication disorders (CDs), 1-3.42%; and motor disorders (MDs), 0.76-17%. Although there is extensive literature on specific disorders, NDDs have rarely been assessed as a whole. All of the reviewed studies support the idea that such disorders can be considered chronic, heterogeneous, underdiagnosed conditions and that comorbidity of multiple NDDs is the norm. Likewise, it is estimated that the prevalence of the most studied disorders, such as ADHD, ASD and SLD, remains stable over time and is consistent in different cultures, ages, ethnicities and sexes. Conclusion: The studies reviewed lead us to conclude that the prevalence rate of NDDs fluctuates globally between 4.70 and 88.50%; these variations depend on methodological aspects such as estimation procedures, as well as on sociocontextual phenomena. It is also important to consider that the prevalence found is probably highly influenced by the activity of the countries in the diagnosis and training of professionals who care for children and adolescents. Hence, there is a need for a secondary intervention in the fields of public health and education to minimize socioemotional consequences, prevent academic failure, and reduce the economic cost to society.
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Francés L, Quintero J, Fernández A, Ruiz A, Caules J, Fillon G, Hervás A, Soler CV. Current state of knowledge on the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood according to the DSM-5: a systematic review in accordance with the PRISMA criteria. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2022 Mar 31;16(1):27
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