Early detection of communication delays with the PEDS tools in at-risk South African infants

Jeannie van der Linde, De Wet Swanepoel, Linique Hanekom, Tasha Lemmer, Karla Schoeman, Frances Page Glascoe, Bart Vinck

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Background: Prevalence of communication delays or disorders is increasing, possibly because of various environmental risk factors. Selection and implementation of effective screening tools are important to detect at-risk infants as early as possible. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of the Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS), PEDS-Developmental Milestones and PEDS tools to detect communication delays in infants (6-12 months) in a South African primary healthcare context.

    Method: A comparative study design evaluated the accuracy of the PEDS tools to detect communication delays, using an internationally accepted diagnostic assessment tool, the Rossetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale (RITLS). A convenience sample of 201 infants was selected at primary healthcare clinics.

    Results: Expressive and receptive language sensitivity scores were low across all three screens (ranging between 14% and 44%). The PEDS tools had high sensitivity (71%) and specificity (73%) ratings for the receptive and expressive language and socio-emotional domain in combination.

    Conclusion: In the sample population, the PEDS tools did not accurately detect receptive and expressive language delays; however, communication delays in general were identified. Future research determining accuracy of the PEDS, PEDS-Developmental Milestones and PEDS tools for children aged 2-5 years in detecting communication delays should be prioritised.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAfrican Journal of Disability
    Volume5
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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