Is the Australian Developmental Screening Test (ADST) a useful step following the completion of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) on the pathway to diagnostic assessment for young children?

Terence Yoong, Anne McKenzie, Rebekah Grace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aim: This paper examines current procedures in the screening of young children to ensure timely identification of those who experience developmental difficulties and/or delay. Across a number of health districts in Australia, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is routinely completed by parents and scored by child and family health nurses. If developmental concerns are raised, children are referred to community paediatric clinics where the Australian Developmental Screening Test (ADST) is administered to determine the need for formal assessment. This study aims to assess whether, in children who have developmental concerns raised on the ASQ, an observed developmental screening test (ADST) reduces the number of children requiring formal diagnostic assessment. Methods: A retrospective review of medical records was conducted for all children less than five years of age who were seen at community paediatric clinics in south-western Sydney, who were referred with developmental concerns and who were assessed using both the ASQ and the ADST. Results: From May 2009 to August 2011 a total of 36 children had both an ASQ and an ADST administered. Thirty-three of these children were classified as "assessment recommended" on the ADST. The remaining three children were classified as "monitor". Conclusions: In children who have developmental concerns raised on the ASQ, the ADST appears to be an unnecessary step on the pathway to diagnostic developmental assessment. This study found that the ADST does not significantly reduce the number of children who will require formal diagnostic assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-8
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian journal of child and family health nursing
Volume12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Child
  • Developmental screening
  • Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ)
  • Australian Developmental Screening Test (ADST)

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