A national prevalence and profile of single and multiple developmental delays among children aged from 1 year up to 12 years: an Egyptian community-based study
Objective This study aimed at providing a national prevalence of single and multiple developmental delays (DDs) among 41,640 Egyptian children aged 1 to 12 years and exploring DDs’ associated risk and protective factors. Methods A national household survey from eight governorates of Egypt representing the four major subdivisions of Egypt was conducted through systematic probability proportionate to size. All enrolled children were assessed according to Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, (VABS) as a reliable screening questionnaire for identifying categories of DDs that were verified by pediatrics’ specialists. Results The overall prevalence of children with DDs was 6.7%. The prevalence of a single DD was 3.9% versus 2.8% multiple DDs. Communication deficit was the most prevalent type (5.3%). Lower prevalence was identified for fine motor delay (1.0%), gross motor delay, and socialization deficit (1.5% each). Whereas deficits in daily life skills (self-help and adaptive behavior delay) amounted to 2.3%. Living without mothers and/or fathers in homes was associated with increased odds of having DDs by one and a half times (OR = 1.72 and OR = 1.34 respectively). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed the most predictors for DDs including children who suffer from convulsions after birth (OR = 3.10), low birth weight babies (OR = 1.94), male sex (OR = 1.75), mothers having health problems during pregnancy (OR = 1.70) and belonging to middle socioeconomic status (OR = 1.41). Children who suffered from cyanosis after birth was found to be at risk for any or multiple DDs. Difficult labor was significantly associated with increased odds for multiple DDs (OR = 1.55). Higher paternal and maternal education was associated with decreased odds to have any DDs by 40% (OR = 0.60 and OR = 0.58 respectively). Conclusions The detected prevalence of DDs is within the estimated range of prevalence of DDs for the pediatric population. The majority of the detected risk factors are preventable. Developmental screening is recommended to be implemented in all primary care settings as a routine practice.