Self-reported Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms among university students in Eldoret, Kenya

Document Type



Faculty of Health Sciences, East Africa


Objective: To determine the prevalence of self-reported attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms among university students in Eldoret, Kenya.

Design: A cross-sectional descriptive study of all students who gave consent to participate in the study.

Setting: Moi University’s Town Campus, comprising the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Public Health.

Subjects: Four hundred and fifty eight undergraduate students, with a mean age of 23.7 years (17-46, SD 4.1), of whom 236 (51.5%) were male.

Main outcome measures: Presence of ADHD symptoms as measured by the adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS versus 1.1).

Results: The prevalence rate of self-reported ADHD symptoms was 21.8%. This was significantly associated with belonging to a younger age-group (17-20 years) compared to the older age-groups (p< 0.05). The prevalence was higher among females (25.2%) than among males (18.6%), but this was not statistically significant. There was no significant association between a positive ASRS screen and course of study. Using a modification of ASRS full symptom checklist to approximate a DSM IV TR ADHD diagnosis yielded a prevalence of ADHD symptoms of 9.2% in this cohort.

Conclusion: The prevalence rate of ADHD symptoms among university students in Eldoret, Kenya is significantly higher than that reported in other studies. Further studies are needed to generate more information about this condition in the low income countries, especially in college and university populations.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

East African Medical Journal