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Can J Rural Med. 2008 Winter;13(1):9-14.

The Ages and Stages Questionnaires: feasibility of use as a screening tool for children in Canada.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.



To determine the accuracy and feasibility of a monitoring tool completed by parents for screening at-risk and community infants and children for developmental problems.


We assessed 43 children following open-heart surgery and 68 community children (aged 4-36 mo) at prescribed intervals using the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ). Subjects were followed 3 years later (at age 5-6 yr) via telephone interview with their parents concerning developmental delay identified by physicians. Responses were confirmed by telephone interviews with family physicians. We then compared the results of the ASQ with the physician assessments.


Nine at-risk and 9 community children were lost to follow-up. The ASQ identified 4 of the 25 at-risk children as having developmental delay, while 2 of the 6 children assessed by a neurologist were identified as having developmental delay. The ASQ identified 2 of the 59 community children as having developmental delay, 1 of whom was assessed by a neurologist as having developmental delay. The ASQ had sensitivities of 75% in the at-risk group and 100% in the community group, and specificities of 95% and 90%, respectively. The parents were unanimous in their willingness to complete the assessments.


The ASQ is feasible, inexpensive, easy to use, and was appreciated by the parents. It is a sufficiently sensitive and specific monitoring tool that its use in cardiac follow-up programs and in community programs for healthy children is warranted. Although this tool should not be used to replace clinical assessment, it can be used to rationalize access to specialist developmental assessment services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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