THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The Ten Questions (TQ) screen is an effective way to screen HIV-positive children for neurodevelopmental problems in resource-poor areas, according to a study published online July 3 in PLOS ONE.

Justin Knox, M.P.H., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues assess the ability of the TQ screen to identify developmental disability among HIV-positive and HIV-negative children living in South Africa. Participants included 1,330 4-to-6-year-old children and 1,231 of their caregivers.

The researchers found that there was a high prevalence of disability in the sample. HIV-positive children were more likely to screen positive on at least one TQ item (59.3 versus 42.8 percent; P = 0.01), be delayed in sitting, standing or walking (odds ratio [OR], 3.89) and have difficulty walking or weakness in the arms or legs (OR, 2.7), compared to HIV-negative children. HIV-positive children were more likely to be diagnosed, through a doctor’s assessment, with gross motor disability (OR, 3.5) and hearing disability (OR, 2.5). HIV-positive children were also more likely to have cognitive delay (OR, 2.2) and language delay (OR, 4.3), based on independent psychological assessment. The sensitivity and specificity of the TQ for serious disability among HIV-positive children was 100 and 51.2 percent, respectively, and 90.2 and 63.9 percent, respectively, among HIV-negative children.

“In this first report of the use of the TQ screen in the isiZulu language, it was found to have high sensitivity for detecting serious developmental disabilities in children, especially HIV-positive children,” the authors write.

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