Developmental assessment of preterm and term children at 18 months: Reproducibility and validity of a postal questionnaire to parents

R. Bortolus, F. Parazzini, D. Trevisanuto, S. Cipriani, P. Ferrarese, V. Zanardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To examine the degree of agreement between the paediatrician's assessment and parental reporting of infants' development using a postal questionnaire. Methods: The developmental status of 241 infants in the charge of 9 community paediatricians or discharged from one Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was assessed by their parents 18 mo after delivery, using a postal questionnaire regarding child's height, weight, respiratory, hearing and vision problems, and items taken mainly from the Griffiths' Developmental Scales. At this age, infants were seen by the community or NICU paediatricians, for a complete physical and neurodevelopmental examination. Results: The mean agreement on items regarding developmental areas between parents and paediatricians was 93.0%. In general, parents and professionals agreed on items describing gross motor behaviour (k from 0.39 to 0.83) and disagreed on individual questions describing language/relational behaviour (k from 0 to 0.38). A 97.9% level of agreement was found for hearing status (k = 0), and 96.2% for assessment of vision (k = 0.29), whereas the level of agreement ranged from 43.2% to 86.2% (k from 0 to 0.15) for the three questions describing respiratory problems. The mean weight and height assessments by paediatricians and parents of infants at 18 mo of age were similar. Conclusions: Further improvement of the questionnaire is needed, but our findings suggest that this methodology can be considered for use in comparing large cohorts of infants included in randomized clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1107
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • 18 Months
  • Child development
  • Parent assessment
  • Postal questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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