Utility of the WHO Ten Questions Screen for Disability Detection in a Rural Community—the North Indian Experience

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The utility of the WHO Ten Questions Screen (TQS) was studied in a rural community of North India. The study was done in three villages, in two phases. In phase 1, the TQS was administered to parents of children aged between 2 and 9 years, during a house-to-house survey. In phase 2, all children screened positive and a random sample of 110 screened negative were clinically evaluated in detail. The total population of the three villages was 5830 with 1763 children aged between 2 and 9 years. Seventy-six children were positive on the TQS, of these, 38 were found to have significant disability, 18 had protein energy malnutrition and 19 were found normal on clinical evaluation. All the 110 screen-negative children were normal. Significantly larger numbers of boys were positive on TQS as compared to girls [Odd Ratio (OR) 1.5]. The sensitivity of the TQS for significant disability was 100%; the positive predictive value was 50% and was higher for boys than for girls. Of the 50% children classified as false positive 23% had mild delays due to malnutrition. The estimated prevalence of disability was 16/1000. The TQS was found to be a sensitive tool for detection of significant disabilities among children 2–9 years of age. The low-positive predictive value would lead to over referrals but a large number of these children would benefit from medical attention.

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