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Field testing a draft version of the UNICEF/Washington Group Module on child functioning and disability. Background, methodology and preliminary findings from Cameroon and India



Field testing a draft version of the UNICEF/Washington Group Module on child functioning and disability. Background, methodology and preliminary findings from Cameroon and India



Alter 10(4): 345-360



Global child disability data are generally non-comparable, comprising different tools, methodologies and disability definitions. UNICEF and The Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG) have developed a new tool on child functioning and disability to address this need. The aim of this paper is to describe the development of the new module, and to present an independent field test of the draft module in two contrasting settings. UNICEF and the WG developed a parent-reported survey module to identify children aged 2-17 years with functional difficulties in population-based surveys through: review of existing documentation, consultation with experts and cognitive testing. A field test of the draft module was undertaken in Cameroon and India within a population-based survey. Functional limitation in each of 14 domains was scored on a scale comprising "no difficulty", "some difficulty", "a lot of difficulty" and "cannot do". In all, 1713 children in Cameroon and 1101 children in India were assessed. Sixty-four percent of children in Cameroon and 35% of children in India were reported to have at least some difficulty in one or more domain. The proportion reported to have either "a lot of difficulty" or "cannot do" was 9% in Cameroon and 4% in India. There were no significant differences in reported functional difficulties by sex but children aged 2-4 were reported to have fewer functional difficulties of any kind compared with older children in both countries. Comparable estimates were generated between the two countries, providing an initial overview of the tool's outputs. The continued development of this standardised questionnaire for the collection of robust and reliable data on child disability is essential. Les données globales sur les enfants handicapés sont difficiles à comparer étant donnée la variété des outils, des méthodologies et des définitions du handicap utilisées. L’UNICEF et le Washington Group (WG) ont développé un nouvel outil pour documenter le fonctionnement et le handicap de l’enfant. L’objectif de cette note de recherché vise à décrire le développement de ce nouvel outil et à présenter un test du module provisoire qui a été fait de manière indépendante sur deux terrains différents. L’UNICEF et le WG ont développé pour l’enquête un module dans lequel des parents sont interrogés afin d’identifier les enfants âgés de 2 à 17 ans ayant des difficultés fonctionnelles dans les enquêtes en population : examen de la documentation existante, consultation d’experts et tests cognitifs. Le module provisoire a été testé sur le terrain au Cameroun et en Inde dans des enquêtes en population. Les limitations fonctionnelles dans chacun des 14 domaines ont été mesurées avec une échelle allant de « aucune difficulté », « quelques difficultés », « beaucoup de difficultés » à « ne peux pas faire ». Au total, 1713 enfants ont été évalués au Cameroun et 1101 en Inde à partir de ce module. Soixante-quatre pour cent des enfants au Cameroun et 35 % des enfants en Inde ont rapporté avoir au moins quelques difficultés dans un ou plusieurs domaines. La proportion d’enfants ayant déclaré « beaucoup de difficultés » ou « ne peux pas faire » était de 9 % au Cameroun et de 4 % en Inde. Il n’y avait pas de différences significatives selon le sexe dans les difficultés fonctionnelles déclarées mais les enfants âgés de 2 à 4 ans ont déclaré moins de difficultés fonctionnelles de manière générale par rapport aux enfants plus âgés dans les deux pays. Des estimations comparables ont été produites dans les deux pays, fournissant un premier aperc¸ u des potentialités de l’outil. La poursuite du développement de ce questionnaire standardisé pour collecter des données robustes et fiables sur le handicap de l’enfant est essentielle.

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