Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Nurseries in Lebanon: A Cross Sectional Study
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In Lebanon, no estimate for autism prevalence exists. This cross-sectional study examines the prevalence of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in toddlers in nurseries in Beirut and Mount-Lebanon. The final sample included 998 toddlers (16–48 months) from 177 nurseries. We sent parents the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) for screening, and a self-administered questionnaire (associated factors). We imputed missing M-CHAT data with successful answers. Since there were no follow-up interviews for the M-CHAT, we used the positive predictive value (0.058) from a large study for prevalence estimates. ASD prevalence was 1 in 66 children (comparable to US). Ratios were: male/female: 1.05; Beirut/Mount-Lebanon: 1.2. Using a more representative sample and ascertaining results are needed for better prevalence estimates in Lebanon.
KeywordsPrevalence Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Toddlers Nurseries Beirut Mount Lebanon
Supporting Grants are Program Projects in Biomedical Research (2013–2014) (amount: $80,000) and OpenMinds (private foundation/NGO) (amount: $125,360).
MC contributed to conception and design, interpretation of data and write up; DS contributed to conception, design, data acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data and write up; FM contributed to interpretation of the data and critical revision of the manuscript; RB contributed to conception and design, interpretation of data, and critical revision of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
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