Matern Child Health J. 2023 Nov 8. doi: 10.1007/s10995-023-03814-1. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to identify factors associated with a risk of suspected developmental delay (SDD) in high-risk children in Thailand.
METHODS: We used data on children enrolled for developmental delay (DD) screening across Thailand collected by the Rajanagarindra Institute of Child Development, Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand. Children who were under 5 years of age with a birth weight of fewer than 2500 g and/or birth asphyxia in Thailand with high risk of DD were assessed using the Developmental Assessment for Intervention Manual (DAIM) between August 2013 and November 2019 (N = 14,314).
RESULTS: The high-risk children who had a gestational age at birth of < 37 weeks (adjusted odds ratio = 1.54; 95% confidence interval = 1.39-1.70) and/or had a birth weight < 2500 g (1.22; 1.02-1.45), or had mothers who were not government officers (1.46; 1.11-1.93), had a low education level (1.36; 1.19-1.55), had a poor nutritional status (1.34; 1.09-1.65), and/or who were living in a high-altitude area (1.59; 1.32-1.91) were at a higher risk of SDD.
CONCLUSIONS FOR PRACTICE: Children with a low birth weight and/or asphyxia during birth had a high risk of DD. SDD monitoring of children by community health workers and/or by developing outreach strategies, especially in underserved regions, should be considered. In addition, developing policies and guidelines, and intervention for high-risk children ought to be conducted to reduce the subsequent problems caused by the late detection of DD.