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Trends in Pediatricians’ Developmental Screening and Referral

TitleTrends in Pediatricians’ Developmental Screening and Referral
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsLipkin, P, Macias, M, Baer, B, DL, C, Gottschlich, E, Hyman, S, B, S, Wolfe, A, Levy, S

Aims and Objectives:
To compare the rate of developmental screening by pediatricians in 2002, 2009, and 2016.

Study authors analyzed American Academy of Pediatrics Periodic Survey data from 2002, 2009, and 2016. These surveys asked about pediatricians’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding developmental screening. They also asked about pediatricians’ referral of children for developmental problems.

The use of developmental screening tools increased from 21% in 2002 to 63% in 2016. In 2016, pediatricians referred 59% of their at-risk patients to early intervention. In 2002, only 41% of pediatricians did this. Pediatricians in 2016 were more likely than in 2002 to report being “very likely” to refer a patient developmental concerns to early intervention.

Pediatricians’ reported use of standardized developmental screening tools has tripled from 2002 to 2016. More pediatricians are making referrals for children with concerns in developmental screening. Additional efforts are needed to continue this progress.