Comorbidity of Learning Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in a Sample of Omani Schoolchildren

Watfa S. Al-Mamari, Mahmoud M. Emam, Amna M. Al-Futaisi, Ali M. Kazem


Objectives: The estimated worldwide prevalence of learning disorders (LDs) is approximately 2‒10% among school-aged children. LDs have variable clinical features and are often associated with other disorders. This study aimed to examine the comorbidity of LDs and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among a sample of schoolchildren in Oman. Methods: This study was conducted between January 2014 and January 2015 at the Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. The Learning Disabilities Diagnostic Inventory (LDDI) and the 28-item version of the Conners’ Teacher Rating Scale was completed by classroom teachers to determine the existence of LD and ADHD symptoms in 321 children in grades 1‒4 who had been referred to a learning support unit for LDs from elementary schools in Muscat. Results: The mean age of the students was 8.5 years. Among the cohort, 30% were reported to have symptoms of ADHD, including conduct problems (24%), hyperactivity (24%) and inattentivepassive behaviours (41%). Male students reportedly exhibited greater conduct problems and hyperactivity than females. However, there were no gender differences noted between LDDI scores. Conclusion: This study suggests that Omani schoolchildren with LDs are likely to exhibit signs of ADHD. The early identification of this disorder is essential considering the chronic nature of ADHD. For interventional purposes, multidisciplinary teams are recommended, including general and special educators, clinical psychologists, school counsellors, developmental or experienced general paediatricians and child psychiatrists.


Learning Disorders; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; Comorbidity; Children; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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