Breaking News
December 12, 2018 - People who eat red meat have high levels of chemical associated with heart disease, study finds
December 12, 2018 - New method uses water molecules to unlock neurons’ secrets
December 12, 2018 - New computer model predicts prostate cancer progression
December 12, 2018 - More Illnesses From Tainted Romaine Lettuce Reported
December 12, 2018 - Aspirin could reduce HIV infections in women
December 12, 2018 - Sacrificial immune cells alert body to infection
December 12, 2018 - Low-salt diet may be more beneficial for females than males
December 12, 2018 - Major soil organic matter compound battles chronic wasting disease
December 12, 2018 - Findings may open up new ways to treat dwarfism and other ER-stress-related conditions
December 12, 2018 - New computational model provides clearer picture of shape-changing cells’ structure and mechanics
December 12, 2018 - 10 Facts on Patient Safety
December 12, 2018 - Poorest dying nearly 10 years younger than the rich in ‘deeply worrying’ trend for UK
December 12, 2018 - Innovative care model for children with ASD reduces use of behavioral drugs in ED
December 12, 2018 - Spending time in and around Hong Kong’s waters linked to better health and wellbeing
December 12, 2018 - Simple measures to prevent weight gain over Christmas
December 12, 2018 - Research advances offer hope for patient-tailored AML treatment
December 12, 2018 - Researchers discover a ‘blind spot’ in atomic force microscopy
December 12, 2018 - Sprayable gel could help prevent recurrences of cancer after surgery
December 12, 2018 - SLU researchers explore how fetal exposure to inflammation can alter immunity in newborns
December 12, 2018 - How do patients want to discuss symptoms with clinicians?
December 12, 2018 - Zinc chelation may be able to deliver drug to insulin-producing cells
December 12, 2018 - Brigham researchers develop automated, low-cost tool to predict a woman’s ovulation
December 12, 2018 - Some people with Type 2 diabetes may be testing their blood sugar more often than needed
December 12, 2018 - Slow-growing type of glioma may be vulnerable to immunotherapy, suggests study
December 12, 2018 - Study provides new information regarding microRNA function in cellular homeostasis of zebrafish
December 12, 2018 - Study provides new understanding of mysterious ‘hereditary swelling’
December 12, 2018 - Researchers shed new light on how to combat Shiga and ricin toxins
December 12, 2018 - Pregnant Women Commonly Refuse Vaccines
December 12, 2018 - Drug treatment could offer new hope for some patients with brain bleeding
December 12, 2018 - Health care financial burden of animal-related injuries is growing, study says
December 12, 2018 - Macrophage cells could help repair the heart following a heart attack, study finds
December 12, 2018 - Researchers develop new system for efficiently producing human norovirus
December 12, 2018 - New artificial intelligence-based system to differentiate between different types of cancer cells
December 11, 2018 - Brazilian professors propose guidelines for therapeutic use of melatonin
December 11, 2018 - Healthy Lifestyle Lowers Odds of Breast Cancer’s Return
December 11, 2018 - New research identifies two genes linked to serious congenital heart condition
December 11, 2018 - NIH Director talks science, STEM careers with preteens
December 11, 2018 - Disabling a Cellular Antivirus System Could Improve Gene Therapy
December 11, 2018 - New tool swiftly provides accurate measure of patients’ cognitive difficulties
December 11, 2018 - NICE releases new guidelines for diagnosis and management of COPD
December 11, 2018 - Without Obamacare penalty, think it’ll be nice to drop your plan? Better think twice
December 11, 2018 - Researchers capture high-resolution X-ray and NMR image of key immune regulator
December 11, 2018 - Natural flavonoid is effective at treating leishmanisis infections, study shows
December 11, 2018 - Avoidant grievers unconsciously monitor and block mind-wandering contents, study shows
December 11, 2018 - Study identifies how hantaviruses infect lung cells
December 11, 2018 - Improving PTSD care through genetics
December 11, 2018 - Dermatology providers show interest in recommending cannabinoids to patients
December 11, 2018 - Researchers to study effects of electroconvulsive therapy on Alzheimer’s patients with aggression
December 11, 2018 - Four dried fruits have lower glycemic index than starchy foods, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Optimization of drug dose sizes can reduce pharmaceutical wastage
December 11, 2018 - Ultrarestrictive opioid prescribing strategy linked with reduction in number of pills dispensed
December 11, 2018 - PET scans to optimize tuberculosis meningitis treatments and personalize care, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Researchers aim to identify and target high blood pressure indicators
December 11, 2018 - Researchers identify immune cell subset that may drive chronic inflammation
December 11, 2018 - Ezogabine treatment reduces motor neuron excitability in ALS patients, study shows
December 11, 2018 - One implant, two prices. It depends on who’s paying.
December 11, 2018 - Standardizing feeding practices improves growth trends for micro-preemies
December 11, 2018 - COPD Tied to Obesity in Male, Female Never-Smokers
December 11, 2018 - Flossing: Information for Caregivers
December 11, 2018 - Does breastfeeding hormone protect against type 2 diabetes?
December 11, 2018 - Educating future doctors to prescribe physical activity for their patients
December 11, 2018 - Krystal 2000 microplate design improves fluorescence and luminescence measurement
December 11, 2018 - FDA clears mobile medical app to help increase retention in recovery program for opioid use disorder
December 11, 2018 - Overcoming Challenges in High-Speed Centrifugation Experiments
December 11, 2018 - Study shows link between neighborhoods’ socioeconomic status and dietary choices
December 11, 2018 - Lower BMI before obesity surgery predicts greater post-operative weight loss, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Obesity May Be Driving Rise in Uterine Cancers
December 11, 2018 - Antioxidants may prevent cognitive impairment in diabetes
December 11, 2018 - Study discovers link between meditation and how individuals respond to feedback
December 11, 2018 - Researchers identify potential diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s disease
December 11, 2018 - Oral cancer prognostic signature identified
December 11, 2018 - How Can I Find Out What Caused My Miscarriage?
December 11, 2018 - Novel personalized medicine tool for assessing inherited colorectal cancer syndrome risk developed
December 11, 2018 - Study uncovers 11 new genes associated with epilepsy
December 11, 2018 - Filling research gaps could help develop more disability-inclusive workplaces
December 11, 2018 - Cartilage tissue engineering brings good news for patients with cartilage defects
December 11, 2018 - Novel 3D printing workflow helps predict leaky heart valves
December 11, 2018 - Imagination can help overcome fear and anxiety-related disorders, shows study
December 11, 2018 - Are caries linked to political regime?
December 11, 2018 - Leader in Diabetes Clinical Trials Wins Naomi Berrie Award
Developmental screening and surveillance rates remain low, new study suggests

Developmental screening and surveillance rates remain low, new study suggests

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Only about one-third of young children in the U.S. receive recommended screenings or surveillance designed to catch developmental delays. Findings reveal wide variations in rates across states, with as few as 17 percent of children under three years old receiving developmental screening in the lowest performing state. The study was led by researchers at the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Oregon Health & Science University.

The findings, published online July 9, 2018 in JAMA Pediatrics, highlight an area ripe for improvements, despite more than a decade of initiatives designed to promote these important programs.

Approximately 12 percent to 15 percent of American children experience developmental delays or disabilities. These include conditions that affect small motor skills, such as holding a crayon; large motor skills, such as walking; or social and behavioral skills, such as talking.

Identifying these issues early is critical to getting children and their families the help they need in order to advance developmental skills—particularly before school age, when problems can affect academic performance and have lifelong consequences, explains Christina Bethell, PhD, professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Bloomberg School and director of the School’s Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative.

Since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) first recommended developmental screening in 2001, a variety of initiatives at the state and federal levels have been implemented to promote screening, which often involves parents completing a standardized questionnaire at their child’s well visits, and developmental surveillance, which involves health care providers asking specific questions about concerns in learning, development or behavior.

However, explains Bethell, until now, it has been unclear how many providers are actually following these recommendations.

To answer this question, she and her colleagues used data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), a nationally representative, parent-completed survey of U.S. children that has been administered periodically to thousands of families since 2003. The researchers focused on children ages 9 to 35 months, the target age for AAP guidelines for developmental screening and the focus for a variety of state and federal “birth-to-three” initiatives.

A child was considered to have received developmental screening if a parent or other caregiver responded affirmatively to validated questions in the survey about whether a doctor or other health care provider had them complete a questionnaire about developmental observations or concerns. A child was considered to have received developmental surveillance if a doctor or other health care provider had asked them about developmental concerns.

An analysis of this data showed that in 2016, nationally, only 30.4 percent of children in this age bracket had received a developmental screening in the past year. A slightly higher number, 37.1 percent, had received developmental surveillance. Less than 1 in 5 children had received both screening and surveillance, while just over half had received neither.

When the researchers broke down the numbers by state, Bethell says, they made a startling finding: the gap between the lowest and highest performing states stretched 40 percentage points for both screening and surveillance. While 17.2 percent of children in Mississippi received screening, 58.8 percent received it in Oregon. Similarly, 19.1 percent of children received surveillance in Mississippi, and 60.8 percent received it in Oregon.

Demographic characteristics, including primary household language, family structure, household education and income, had a slight effect on whether children received screening and surveillance. However, an important factor that significantly predicted both screening and surveillance was whether a child had health care that met the criteria for being a medical home—for example, having a usual source of care, having a personal physician or nurse, and receiving family-centered care.

Bethell notes that it’s difficult to determine why there is such a broad divide between states in administering developmental screening and surveillance. However, she adds, the research shows that it is possible to dramatically improve. Oregon had one of the lowest rates of developmental screening in 2007, Bethell explains, and is now the top performer in the country with a rate that is more than double the national rate. She and her colleagues suggest in their study that this success may be attributable to tracking and incentivizing quality improvement through pay-for-performance metrics in coordinated care organizations, established as part of a Medicaid demonstration waiver.

Performance incentives, new technology and other factors could help improve success rates in other states as well, Bethell says. The authors note that changes to the methods for the 2016 NSCH prevent direct comparison to prior years of the NSCH, making this study critical to establish a basis for further tracking improvements in screening and surveillance over time.

“We need to create comprehensive systems to optimize early child development in the first 1,000 days of life, which we know is dramatically important for child and population health,” says Bethell. “Even in the best states, only about half of children are receiving screening and surveillance. We still have a long way to go.”

“Prevalence and Variation of Developmental Screening and Surveillance in Early Childhood” was written by Ashley H. Hirai, PhD, Michael D. Kogan, PhD, Veni Kandasamy, MSPH, Colleen Reuland, MS, Christina Bethell, PhD.


Explore further:
Screening tools to identify developmental delay in healthy young children not beneficial

Journal reference:
JAMA Pediatrics

Provided by:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

About author

Related Articles