Article Text

  1. J M Kerstjens1,
  2. I F Tjeertes1,
  3. A F Bos1,
  4. S A Reijneveld2
  1. 1Neonatology, Department of Paediatrics, Beatrix Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Health Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands


Objective The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is an effective parent-completed developmental screener. The aim of this study was to validate the Dutch translation of the ASQ 48 months (D_ASQ).

Methods In a stratified community based sample, parents of 1456 preterm- and 561 term born control children in 2002/2003 completed the D_ASQ 48 months, and a general questionnaire. Mean scores of controls were compared with American, Korean and Norwegian mean scores.

Results Cronbach alfa for the total score was 0.79, and 0.61–0.74 for domains. Content validity was approved in an expert panel. Preterm infants failed the D_ASQ more often on all domains (p<0.001). Failing was more likely in single parent families regarding communication and problem solving (p<0.05), in low income families regarding personal social, problem solving and total scores (p<0.05–0.01). Children of highly educated mothers failed less often on total score (p<0.05). Boys failed more often on all domains except gross motor function (p<0.01–0.001). Concurrent predictive validity when comparing ASQ results with special educational needs at age 5 had a sensitivity of 78% and specificity of 79%. Mean scores differed significantly from other countries on several domains. Effect size was generally small, except for fine motor functioning.

Conclusions The Dutch version of the ASQ performs well regarding reliability and validity. Mean values on several domains vary between countries, but effect size predominantly is small. It seems likely that the ASQ, after translation and validation, will be effective in identifying children with developmental delay in other European countries as well.

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