Outcome Studies

The PEDS:DM Assessment Level, is especially useful for clinical/educational/outcome studies because it provides:
  1. age-equivalent scores in all developmental/behavioral/mental health domains;
  2. a way to compare a child’s performance to others of the same age,
  3. when repeated, offers information about changes in children’s performance over time,
  4. indicates when performance is falling into a high risk level,
  5. offers a continuous outcome variable for which numerous statistical techniques can be used (far more so than do binary cutoff scores).
  6. can be administered in mail-out form, by interview, or hands-on with children

The ability of the PEDS:DM Screening or PEDS:DM Assessment Level to be completed in large part by parent-report (e.g.,through mail-outs or in waiting rooms prior to an encounter) and without much professional assistance--given its 2nd grade reading level-- makes it an inexpensive way to measure outcomes in multiple domains.

Nevertheless, the PEDS:DM can also be administered directly to children. Some grantors/reviewers for scholarly research/journal publication prefer researchers to compare information gathered by parent report (e.g., medical history, psychosocial risk factors, behavioral challenges) to direct measurement of children’s developmental outcomes.

Survey Research

PEDS has been used in survey studies due to its brevity and abundant research support (e.g., from studies of the PHDS, NSECH, California First Five). Nevertheless, survey versions of PEDS offer only indicators of risk but do not provide information essential to determining parents and children’s needs for information, referrals, services, etc. Further, existing surveys using PEDS have struggled with quality translations. Please see the collated abstracts for more information.

For these reasons, we provide, through PEDS Online, a survey/interview version of PEDS and PEDS:DM* in English and Spanish along with an optional M-CHAT-R. The survey version of our site provides not only a quality translation but also risk and needs indicators (e.g., the kinds of services families and children need) along with specific advice about how best to help. The site provides error-free automated scoring, recommendations for needed follow-up, and generates a database that is exportable into EXCEL, SPSS, etc. that can easily be added to an existing database. Licensing allows users to include the PEDS or PEDS:DM questions in research protocols, including mail-out protocols or computer-assisted telephone interview software. After data collection, relevant portions of a research database can then be submitted for scoring and determination of results, rendering an exportable file.

*Note: The PEDS:DM can be used in survey/telephone/interview studies, most especially when children are 3 ½ years and younger. At older ages, the PEDS:DM requires parents (or professionals) to elicit skills from their children (e.g., names colors, letters, copy shapes, etc). So, if older children are included, we are happy to work with you on how best to measure older children (e.g., rewording items, mailing questions in advance so that families can try them with their children, etc.). Please contact us as needed.

A Case Example of Outcomes Research Using PEDS Online: 211LA Warm Line

Photo of a crisis phone line operator

PEDS Online is being used effectively in such programs as 211LA where families in crisis call in for assistance (e.g., for help paying rent, utilities, issues with food insufficiency, homelessness) etc. Most such families are at high risk for having children at risk for developmental-behavioral problems (even if their initial concern is more focused on the challenges of daily living). Interestingly, almost all families, despite their immediate crisis are willing to be asked questions about their children’s learning and progress, and willing to not only participate in screening but to follow-through with referrals.

Outcomes research on 211LA show the predictably high rates of problematic performance on PEDS Tools and also high rates of very concerning performance on the M-CHAT-R--a measure of autism spectrum disorder. Please see our research pages for publications on use of PEDS Online with at-risk populations.

PEDS:DM Assessment Level Online!