Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Quick, low-cost tests can accurately identify childhood developmental delays, study shows

Date:
August 3, 2011
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have found that two existing screening tests are accurate in diagnosing development delays in children and could be incorporated in a busy family practice setting with relative ease. Parents can complete the questionnaire at home or in the family physician's office, with the physician scoring the tests and providing results in a matter of minutes.

BC Children's Hospital and University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers have found that two existing screening tests are accurate in diagnosing development delays in children and could be incorporated in a busy family practice setting with relative ease.

Related Articles


Parents can complete the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) or the Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) at home or in the family physician's office, with the physician scoring the tests and providing results in a matter of minutes.

"Only 30 per cent of children with developmental delays are identified prior to school age -- whether that's social, physical or learning -- and most experts would agree that we should be identifying those delays earlier through regular screening," says Dr. Marjolaine Limbos, principal investigator and a psychologist at BC Children's Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority.

However, researchers believe the tests aren't routinely administered by Canadian family physicians because they haven't been validated (tested for accuracy) in a primary care setting (physician's office) and because of physicians' concerns about having enough time to administer such tests in a busy practice.

"Right now, the majority of family physicians do the eyeball test," says co-author Dr. David Joyce, a clinical assistant professor in UBC's Department of Family Practice and a Vancouver family physician. "But research shows that is not very accurate, and kids are falling through the cracks. It's critical to catch and treat disabilities early because the longer you leave them, the more intractable they become. The brain becomes more hard-wired, and opportunities for change become narrower."

The results were published recently in the online version of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, a leading resource for clinicians, teachers, and researchers involved in pediatric healthcare.

Researchers recruited 334 children between the ages of one and five years old. Families were recruited from more than 80 physician offices in Ontario. The parents completed both the PEDS and the ASQ tests, and children underwent a full battery of psychological testing to serve as a comparison or gold standard. While both tests had reasonable accuracy in picking up abnormalities, the PEDS had a slightly lower accuracy than the ASQ.

The PEDS, the shorter of the two tests, takes five minutes to complete and is based on a parent's recollection of their child's abilities, with yes or no responses. The ASQ is a longer test, taking about 15 minutes, and asks parents about their child's ability to perform certain activities, such as throwing a ball to test motor skills. Both the sensitivity and specificity of the ASQ in identifying developmental delays was higher.

"Our research shows that overall, the ASQ and, to a lesser extent, the PEDS are accurate and can be administered effectively and at low cost," says Dr. Limbos. "The study results will hopefully provide physicians with the confidence that the tests can be incorporated into a busy physician practice with relatively little demand on staff time, with the results being easy to interpret and validate."

Children who are identified as having a developmental disability through the screening tests would then be referred to a specialist for further testing and treatment.

The findings are a part of a larger study the researchers are conducting to examine the accuracy of screening tests used in primary care and the factors related to physician screening for developmental delay.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marjolaine M. Limbos, David P. Joyce. Comparison of the ASQ and PEDS in Screening for Developmental Delay in Children Presenting for Primary Care. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 2011; 1 DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31822552e9

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Quick, low-cost tests can accurately identify childhood developmental delays, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803092014.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2011, August 3). Quick, low-cost tests can accurately identify childhood developmental delays, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803092014.htm
University of British Columbia. "Quick, low-cost tests can accurately identify childhood developmental delays, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803092014.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) Scientists in Austria have been able to fit patients who&apos;ve lost the use of a hand with bionic prostheses the patients control with their minds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins