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

A. Abubakar, P. Holding, F. Van De Vijver, G. Bomu, A. Van Baar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Caregiver reports
  • Children
  • Developmental monitoring


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