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CHARM 2023
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Analysis of the Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status for Kindergarten children in the ACT

On Demand

On Demand

11:10 am

20 July 2023

Room 2

ACT research in focus: Stream 4

Talk Description

Developmental delay and disability affect a significant minority of Australian children. Identification of those at risk and providing early intervention is important to support improving developmental and behavioural health outcomes for children and their families.
We aimed to describe the proportion of children attending their first year at school (Kindergarten) in the ACT at increased risk of developmental delay and disability, as measured through the Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS), and explore how this varied for selected sociodemographic characteristics.
Cross-sectional analysis of the 2014 to 2017 Kindergarten Health Check survey series. Descriptive and comparative statistics were produced for high risk PEDS for characteristics including age, sex, Indigenous background, and relative socioeconomic disadvantage.
19,414 children were included in the study, with the majority aged 5 to <6 years, 51.4% boys, 2.3% of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, and 18.4% in the most disadvantaged socioeconomic quintile. More than half of Kindergarten children had low or no developmental risk identified through the PEDS screening tool, with 10% at high risk.
Children more likely to have a high risk PEDS score were boys, those from the most disadvantaged socioeconomic groups, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Results of the PEDS screening tool are provided to the nominated GP and parents/guardians of individual participants for discussion and appropriate follow up. Having knowledge of which children are more likely to be at risk can inform policy development and resource allocation with the aim to address underlying causes of health inequality.

Kathleen O'Brien, Jason Agostino, Karen Ciszek, Kirsty A Douglas

1.     Academic Unit of General Practice, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 2605



Presenting Authors

Kathleen O'Brien -