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Gesundheitswesen. 2015 Feb;77(2):93-101. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1370998. Epub 2014 Apr 25.

[The use and benefit of the 'children with special health care needs screener' in the paediatric school entrance examinations 2004/2005 in Cologne].

[Article in German]

Author information

Innere Abteilung, Malteser Krankenhaus St. Hildegardis, Köln.
IMSIE - Institut für Medizinische Statistik, Informatik und Epidemiologie, University of Cologne, Köln.
KJGD - Kinder- und Jugendgesundheitsdienst, Gesundheitsamt Köln, Köln.
Klinik und Poliklinik für Allgemeine Kinderheilkunde, University of Cologne, Köln.


The aim of this study was to provide an assessment of the usefulness of the questionnaire "Children with Special Health Care Needs Screener" (CSHCN Screener) as a screening instrument to identify children with special needs in the context of paediatric school entrance examinations (SEE).In a retrospective cross-sectional study of the years 2004 and 2005 in Cologne, Germany, the sum variables were derived from the results of the SEE in accordance to the 7 questions of the CSHCN Screener. The correlations of the SEE sum variables and the CSHCN Screener results were analysed and tested for correlations with sociodemographic factors.Of the 18 402 children of the cohorts 2004/2005, corresponding SEE findings and results of the CSHCN Screener were available for 13 076 children. The prevalence of children with special needs was only 6% according to the results of the CSHCN Screener. According to the SEE, however, 26% of the children showed diseases or developmental problems. Out of this group, only one in 8 children was identified by the CSHCN Screener (sensitivity 13%). The sensitivity of the screener was also 13% for children who had been diagnosed to be in need of special support by school physicians. In the case of girls and of children with migration family backgrounds, the sensitivity of the screener was even lower. The CSHCN Screener also could not detect the higher rate of special needs determined by school physicians in children from areas with high quotas of state family support payments.The results of the CSHCN Screener are not convincing, due to his low sensitivity. This is true with regard to its use as a diagnostic tool for the individual child at the beginning of school age as well for its use as an instrument to assess an increased need for support in cohorts of school entry students.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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