Arch Dis Child: Training packages for the use of child development tools in low/middle-income countries: a review

24 January, 2023

Citation, abstract and a comment from me below.

CITATION: Training packages for the use of child development tools in low/middle-income countries: a review

Maria Neocleous et al.

Arch Dis Child


Background: We are now moving beyond the focus of ‘child survival’ to an era which promotes children thriving and developing rather than simply ‘surviving’. In doing so, we are becoming more aware of the large variation of child development screening tools available globally, but in particular, those in low/middle-income countries (LMICs).

Methods: This narrative review identifies 24 child development tools used in LMICs. We aimed to identify information on training accessibility and training design, assessment methods and cost of training. For those tools with no training information identified or for any tools identified as providing online training, the tool author was contacted individually to obtain information on the features of the tool’s training package.

Results: Information on training features was identified for 18 tools. All of the tools are identified as screening tools with some also identified as surveillance or assessment tools. The training material for the majority of the tools was not readily accessible and most training packages were proprietary and only available with a face-to-face training design. Other training options included a user manual, training videos or training through an online platform.

Conclusions: Training is a key factor when selecting a child development screening or surveillance tool particularly in a low-income or middle-income setting where funds may be limited. The accessibility of training can have a key impact on the implementation and utilisation of tools desperately needed for use in LMICs.

COMMENT (NPW): The number of tools available is quite large. The authors suggest 'features of an effective training package' and discuss important points such as cost and availability of online training. I suspect it could be really useful to conduct a comparative assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each tool, with recommendations on which tool to use in different settings.

Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator

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