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South African Journal of Child Health

versão On-line ISSN 1999-7671
versão impressa ISSN 1994-3032


RASDIEN, U; REDFERN, A  e  SPRINGER, Ρ Ε. Comparison of the demographic and diagnostic profile of new patients attending a neurodevelopmental clinic in 2008/2009 and 2016. S. Afr. j. child health [online]. 2019, vol.13, n.1, pp.6-10. ISSN 1999-7671.

BACKGROUND: Literature suggests an increasing prevalence of developmental disabilities, and specifically of conditions such as autism and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Lhe resulting burden on paediatric neurodevelopmental services has not been described in the South African setting OBJECTIVE: Lo compare the demographic and diagnostic profile of new patients attending a neurodevelopmental service across two 12-month periods, after a change in referral pathway and the introduction of a secondary clinic METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, descriptive cross-sectional folder review of new patients seen in the neurodevelopmental service at Lygerberg Hospital in 2008/2009 and 2016 RESULTS: Lhe number of new patients increased from 84 in 2008/2009 to 240 in 2016. In both periods the majority of patients were male. Lhe median (IQR) age decreased from 62 (31 - 92) months in 2008/2009 to 53 (37 - 67) months in 2016 (£=0.17). In 2008/2009 only one patient was from the Khayelitsha health subdistrict compared with 49 (20.4%) in 2016, following the subdistrict's addition to the hospitals drainage area in 2011. Lhe number of patients referred by allied health professionals increased between the two periods (30.4% in 2016 v. 16.4% in 2008/2009). Cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) increased notably: from 10 (8.4%) in 2008/2009 to 84 (35%) in 2016 CONCLUSION: Lhe notable increase in neurodevelopmental referrals over the past 8 years cannot be fully explained by a regional population increase or a change in referral pathway. Lhe number of ASD cases has increased disproportionately, with important implications for health and educational service planning

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