Development of a 5-Item Parent Questionnaire to Screen Preschool Children for Reading Problems

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Abstract

Objective.

To develop a brief tool for screening of emergent literacy skills in preschool children (3-5 years old) in pediatric clinics.

Methods.

Parents were given an 8-item questionnaire, and the children were tested with the Get Ready to Read-Revised (GRTR-R) screener. With the GRTR-R score as gold standard, the parent questionnaire was optimized using various combinations of questions and response weights in one half of the sample. The resulting 5-item questionnaire was then validated using the other half of the sample.

Results.

A total of 203 patients were enrolled. In the validation sample, the 5-item questionnaire had sensitivity and specificity vis-à-vis the GRTR-R of 100% and 78.6% in 5-year-olds (cutoff score of 8) and 78.6% and 68.2% in 4-year-olds (cutoff of 6). The questionnaire did not perform well in 3-year-olds.

Conclusion.

A very brief parent questionnaire may be useful as a first-line screener for early reading problems.

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