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Child Development in Primary Care: a Surveillance Proposal

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COELHO, R., FERREIRA, J.P., SUKIENNIK, R., HALPEN, R. Child development in primary care: a surveillance proposal. Jornal de Pediatria, 92:505-11, 2016.

To evaluate a child development surveillance tool proposal to be used in primary care, with simultaneous use of the Denver II scale.

This was a cross-sectional study of 282 infants aged up to 36 months, enrolled in a public daycare in a countryside community in Rio Grande do Sul/Brazil. Child development was assessed using the surveillance tool and the Denver II scale.

The prevalence of probable developmental delay was 53%; most of these cases were in the alert group and 24% had normal development, but with risk factors. At the Denver scale, the prevalence of suspected developmental delay was 32%. When risk factors and sociodemographic variables were assessed, no significant difference was observed.

The evaluation of this surveillance tool resulted in objective and comparable data, which were adequate for a screening test. It is easily applicable as a screening tool, even though it was originally designed as a surveillance tool. The inclusion of risk factors to the scoring system is an innovation that allows for the identification of children with suspected delay in addition to developmental milestones, although the definition of parameters and choice of indicators should be thoroughly studied.

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