Developmental monitoring using caregiver reports in a resource-limited setting: the case of Kilifi, Kenya

Acta Paediatr. 2010 Feb;99(2):291-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01561.x.


Aim: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusion: Developmental monitoring using caregiver report is a viable method to identify and monitor at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Child Development*
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Developing Countries
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Kenya
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Mothers*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health
  • Socioeconomic Factors