Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2021

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Bernadette Sobczak, DNP, APN, CPNP-PC, PMHS

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Annie Imboden, DNP, APN, CPNP


Developmental screening, developmental surveillance, early intervention, pediatrics, primary care, screening tools, child development, health promotion, developmental delay, developmental disability



Evaluation of childhood development with a validated screening tool has been the gold standard for best practice recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) since 2006. A rural pediatric clinic was the setting for this quality improvement project. The goals of the project were to 1) increase the number of children identified with developmental delays, 2) identify children with delays earlier, and 3) maximize the number of children receiving early intervention (EI) services between the ages of birth to 36 months. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) was the selected screening tool adopted by the clinic in June 2020. Data was collected on 1) the number of children screened, 2) the ages at the time of screening, 3) the number of EI referrals, and 4) the number of qualified EI referrals. Pre- and post-implementation data was analyzed and showed a statistically significant decrease in the number of referrals made for EI services, as well as those that qualified for EI services. The concluding results show that using a validated screening tool decreased the number of futile referrals made for EI services after screening for developmental delays in children birth to 36 months for this clinic. The ages of children referred for EI services did show that children were identified at a younger age comparative to the previous methods used by clinicians in the pediatric clinic, but the data was skewed due to COVID-19.


Developmental delays, pediatric growth and development, developmental screening, early intervention, EI, birth to 36 months, quality improvement, pediatric screening, primary care screening

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