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Prevalence and sociodemographic determinants of developmental delay: a cross-sectional study of under-five Nigerian children

Adenike O. Jimoh
Jane O. Anyiam
Alhassan M. Yakubu


Background: developmental problems or delays are preventable and others may be ameliorated by interventions. Developmental delay and factors associated with it therefore need to be identified in order for early and appropriate interventions to be instituted. This study therefore aimed to determine the prevalence of developmental delay among under-fives and identify the sociodemographic factors associated with the delay.

Methods: Four hundred and fifteen Nigerian children, aged 6- 59 months were assessed for development using the Schedule of Growing Skills II tool. Developmental quotient below threshold point of 85% in a developmental domain was used to define developmental delay.

Results: Of the 415 children assessed, 147 (35.4%) had delay in the various developmental domains. The highest prevalence was in the manipulative domain (25.8%) followed by visual (17.1%), cognitive skill (13.5%), hearing and language (6.3%), interactive social (5.8%), self-care social (4.4%) and speech and language (4.1%). Low maternal education was significantly associated with delay in locomotive domain (4.3%; OR=5.00; 95% CI=1.04-23.84), manipulative domain (32.4%; OR=1.89; Most 95% CI=1.21-2.95), visual domain (22.9%; OR=2.11; 95% CI=1.25-3.55), speech and language (6.4%; OR=3.03; 95% CI=1.05-8.75), interactive social (8%; OR=3.05; 95% CI=1.32-7.04), self-care social (6.9%; OR=3.30; 95% CI=1.15-9.43), cognitive (17.6%; OR=1.89; 95% CI= 1.07-3.35). Birth order and household size also had significant association with delay in various domains. There was no significant association between socioeconomic class and developmental delay in any of the domains.

Conclusion: The study showed that developmental delay was relatively common among under-five children in North-West Nigeria; and has a strong association with some sociodemographic factors. There is need to screen children for developmental delay for early intervention.

Keywords: Child Development, Developmental Delay, Developmental Domain, Developmental Skills, Under-Fives, Sociodemograhic factors

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eISSN: 1596-2407