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Strengthening the evidence for maternal and child health programs

Evidence Tools

toddler and doctor playing with their nosesDevelopmental Screening

The Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program guidance defines the significance of this goal as follows:

Early identification of developmental disorders is critical to the well-being of children and their families. It is an integral function of the primary care medical home. The percent of children with a developmental disorder has been increasing, yet overall screening rates have remained low. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening tests begin at the nine month visit.

NPM 6 Tools

Introductory Resources

Summary of the Evidence

The following trends emerged from analysis of peer- reviewed evidence. While findings might not completely align with your ESM, they can serve as ideas to expand your ESM in the future.

  • Quality improvement in health care settings appears to be effective.
  • Systems-level approaches with quality improvement interventions appears to be effective.
  • Health care provider training and home visiting programs may be effective; however, further evidence is needed to fully assess.

Access the published evidence.

Evidence Analysis Reports

Promising Practices

You can access strategies from AMCHP’s Innovation Station that have shown promise in advancing your NPM below. While these strategies may not completely align with your current activities, they can be used to help guide further development and measurement of your ESM.

Practice Name Primary Interest State Level of Evidence
Tribal Court FAS Program Birth Defects Prevention MN Emerging
Alaska Childhood Understanding Behaviors Survey (CUBS) Child Health AK Emerging
Boys' Health Advocacy Program Child Health SD Promising
Every Child Succeeds Child Health OH Best
Parents as Detailers for Learn the Signs. Act Early CYSHCN GA Emerging
First 5 California Kit for New Parents Family/Consumer Involvement CA Promising
Family Voices of California Project Leadership CYSHCN CA Promising
Early Intervention Partnerships Program (EIPP) Health Screening MA Emerging
1st Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative Health Screening IA Promising
Community Systems Building Grants for CYSHCN CYSHCN NC Emerging
Nurse Family Partnership Home Visiting National Best
Universal Autism Screening Developmental Disabilities TN Cutting Edge

Sample ESMs

Domain and National Performance Measure: Percent of children, ages 10 through 71 months, receiving a developmental screening using a parent-completed screening tool

Strategy [Source] Evidence-based/-informed Strategy Measure (ESM)

Implement a quality improvement learning collaborative to improve developmental screening practices (e.g. tools, documentation, referrals) [3,4]

# of pediatric and family practices participating in learning collaborative
Establish an interagency committee for developmental screening to facilitate communication [3] # of meetings of Interagency committee
Develop a shared data collection tool to track information on screening and follow-up [3] # trained providers using statewide registry
Support Help Me Grow activities to make developmental screening tools accessible to families [3] # families served by Help Me Grow

[3] Women’s and Children’s Health Policy Center, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Environmental Scans.
[4] Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs & Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Taking Action with Evidence: Implementation Roadmap Webinars.

Source: Sample Strategies and Evidence-based/informed Strategy Measures (ESMs) (WCHPC). A list of sample strategies and ESMs for each of the 15 NPMs. Sources are provided at the end of the document. 

Related ESMs. Access ESMs being implemented by other states/jurisdictions that may serve as models for future work with NPM 6.

Additional Learning

  • NPM 6 Transformation Tools (MCH Navigator and National MCH Workforce Development Center). Learning resources, implementation strategies, and links to the evidence base for the competencies needed to carry out NPM 6 activities.
  • Taking Action with Evidence Implementation Roadmap (Association of MCH Programs (AMCHP) and WCHPC). Archived webinars and additional learning and implementation resources.
  • Historical Resources from the MCH Digital Library (NCEMCH). This bibliography is automatically generated to pull resources from MCHLine, the MCH Library's online catalog of seminal resources, in support of NPM 6. Coming soon.
  • Webinar on “Developmental Screening Alignment: National Performance Measure 6 Data and Strategies.” Please join us on July 25 from 3:30—4:30pm ET for a webinar on new data from the National Survey on Children’s Health related to Title V National Performance Measure #6 on Developmental Screening. Information from the recently published article on Prevalence and Variation of Developmental Screening and Surveillance in Early Childhood will also be shared. This webinar will include a highlight of new data, as well as strategies, resources, and state efforts to improve and promote developmental screening through Title V program activities. Register here!

Additional Resources

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.