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The knowledge and attitude of primary school teachers in Sri Lanka towards childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Authors:

MDA Rodrigo ,

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya,, LK
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D Perera,

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya,, LK
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VP Eranga,

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya,, LK
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SS Williams,

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya,, LK
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KALA Kuruppuarachchi

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya,, LK
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Abstract

Objective To assess the knowledge and attitudes towards attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among primary school teachers in the Gampaha District.

Methods A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in randomly selected schools of Gampaha district using a stratified sampling method. The knowledge and attitudes on ADHD were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire distributed among all the consenting primary school teachers in the selected schools.

Results Total of 202 completed questionnaires of 210 distributed were returned. The majority showed good understanding about ill effects of ADHD, teachers' role in management and counterproductive effects of punishment. Three-fourths had a positive attitude towards behavioural therapy. However, only a minority had adequate knowledge about the presentation of ADHD and its treatment with medication. More than 80% of teachers believed that the parents were to be blamed for the child's ADHD. The majority of participating teachers also believed that behavioural disturbances caused by ADHD children were deliberate and malicious. Teachers who had training in child psychology recorded a significantly higher knowledge and had a more favourable attitude.

Conclusions The knowledge of ADHD and its treatment among primary school teachers needs to be improved. Particular focus should be on improving attitudes and disseminating the message that timely interventions can make a difference in the educational and social development of the child.

(Index words: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; teachers’ knowledge and attitude; Sri Lanka)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v56i2.3108

Ceylon Medical Journal 2011; 56: 51-54

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v56i2.3108
How to Cite: Rodrigo, M., Perera, D., Eranga, V., Williams, S. and Kuruppuarachchi, K., 2011. The knowledge and attitude of primary school teachers in Sri Lanka towards childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ceylon Medical Journal, 56(2), pp.51–54. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v56i2.3108
Published on 21 Jun 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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