A parent questionnaire for developmental screening in infants born late and moderately preterm

Pediatrics. 2014 Jul;134(1):e55-62. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-0266.


Background: The Parent Report of Children's Abilities-Revised (PARCA-R) is a questionnaire for assessing cognitive and language development in very preterm infants. Given the increased risk of developmental delay in infants born late and moderately preterm (LMPT; 32-36 weeks), this study aimed to validate this questionnaire as a screening tool in this population.

Methods: Parents of 219 children born LMPT completed the PARCA-R questionnaire and the Brief Infant Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment when children were 24 months corrected age (range, 24 months-27 months). The children were subsequently assessed by using the cognitive and language scales of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (Bayley-III).

Results: An average Bayley-III, cognitive and language (CB-III) score and a total PARCA-R Parent Report Composite (PRC) score were computed. There was a large association between PRC and CB-III scores (r = 0.66, P < .001) indicating good concurrent validity. Using Youden index, the optimum PARCA-R cutoff for identifying children with moderate/severe developmental delay (CB-III scores < 80) was PRC scores < 73. This gave sensitivity 0.90 (95% confidence interval: 0.75-1.00) and specificity 0.76 (95% confidence interval: 0.70-0.82), indicating good diagnostic utility. Approximately two-thirds of the children who had a PRC score < 73 had false-positive screens. However, these children had significantly poorer cognitive and behavioral outcomes than children with true negative screens.

Conclusions: The PARCA-R has good concurrent validity with a gold standard developmental test and can be used to identify LMPT infants who may benefit from a clinical assessment. The PARCA-R has potential for clinical use as a first-line cognitive screening tool for this sizeable population of infants in whom follow-up may be beneficial.

Keywords: developmental delay; follow-up; outcomes; parent report; preterm; screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Postmature*
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Parents*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*