Developmental monitoring using caregiver reports in a resource-limited setting: the case of Kilifi, Kenya
Case Western Reserve University, North West University - South Africa, Tilburg University, University of Utrecht, KEMRI Wellcome Trust Res Programme
The main aim of the current study was to evaluate the reliability, validity and acceptability of developmental monitoring using caregiver reports among mothers in a rural African setting.
A structured interview for parents of children aged 24 months and less was developed through both participant consultation and a review of literature. The reliability and validity of the schedule was evaluated through a 10-month monitoring programme of 95 children, aged 2-10 months. The acceptability of the process was evaluated by studying retention rates and by organizing focus group discussions with participating mothers.
The structured interview 'Developmental Milestones Checklist' consisted of 66 items covering three broad domains of child functioning: motor, language and personal-social development. The interview yielded scores of developmental achievements that showed high internal consistency and excellent test-retest reliability. The results were sensitive to maturational changes and nutritional deficiencies. In addition, acceptable retention rates of approximately 80% were found. Participating mothers reported that they found the procedures both acceptable and beneficial.
Developmental monitoring using caregiver report is a viable method to identify and monitor at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.