Background: Developmental delays are more prevalent in low-income countries and access to developmental screening is severely limited. Introduction: This study evaluated an m-Health version of a standard developmental screening tool, Parents Evaluation Developmental Status (PEDS®) and PEDS®: Developmental Milestones (PEDS:DM®) for use by community health workers (CHWs) in terms of
- correspondence with conventional paper-based testing by a speech language pathologist (SLP) and
- interrater reliability compared to an SLP.
Method: CHWs were trained in a primary healthcare (PHC) setting to administer the newly developed smartphone application version of the PEDS® tools. One SLP and two CHWs recruited 207 caregivers who were attending a baby wellness clinic. Caregivers were tested by one CHW using the smartphone application of the PEDS® tools; a qualified SLP simultaneously recorded and scored the PEDS® tools on the same participants. Results: High positive (100%) and nega- tive correspondence (96%) was found between the paper- based PEDS® tools and the smartphone application PEDS® tools and between the SLP and CHW. Almost perfect (Cohen’s Kappa) inter-rater agreement between conditions was dem- onstrated (j = 0.873 to j = 0.961).
Conclusions: Outcomes of the smartphone application, operated by a CHW, corre- sponded closely to the gold standard PEDS® tools operated by a health professional. Trained CHWs can conduct accurate developmental screening using the smartphone version of the PEDS® tools.