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An Update on Assessing Development in the Pediatric Office: Has Anything Changed After Two Policy Statements?

Academic Pediatrics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.acap.2010.08.008
  • Developmental Assessments
  • Developmental Questionnaires
  • Developmental Screening
  • Pediatric Office
  • Primary Care Practices
  • Well-Child Care
  • Economics


Abstract Objective The aim of this study was to examine parental reports of receiving a child developmental assessment (DA), and the child, family, and type of health care setting characteristics and well-child care processes associated with receiving this aspect of preventive developmental care. Methods The 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health was used to study 16 223 children, aged 10 months to 4 years, who received a DA with a structured questionnaire from their primary care provider in the previous 12 months. Data were adjusted for child characteristics, family socioeconomic factors, type of health care setting, and processes of care. Results Few children were assessed for developmental delays by using developmental questionnaires (28%). A greater percentage of parents of children with public insurance reported receiving a developmental questionnaire compared with parents of children who were uninsured or privately insured (32% vs 26% and 25%, respectively; P = .02). The adjusted odds of receiving a developmental questionnaire were higher for children with public insurance than private insurance (odds ratio [OR] 1.35, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05–1.73), higher for children whose usual place of care was a clinic or health center than a doctor’s office (OR 1.36, 95% CI, 1.07–1.74), and higher for children reporting adequate family-centered care (OR 1.41, 95% CI, 1.14–1.74). Conclusions Parental receipt of developmental questionnaires is low and varies by type of insurance, type of place for usual source of care, and adequacy of family-centered care. There is room for improvement in the provision of developmental questionnaires and, our results suggest, areas for continuing research to understand variations in DA practices.

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