Validity of the 'ten questions' for screening serious childhood disability: Results from urban Bangladesh

Sultana S. Zaman, Naila Z. Khan, Shaheen Islam, Sultana Banu, Shanta Dixit, Patrick Shrout, Maureen Durkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zaman S S (Department of Psychology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh), Khan N Z, Islam S, Banu S, Dixit S, Shrout P and Durkin M. Validity of the 'Ten Questions' for screening serious childhood disability: results from urban Bangladesh. International Journal of Epidemiology 1990; 19: 613-620.A survey of 2576 children aged two to nine years was carried out in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as part of a collaborative study to test the validity of a questionnaire (the Ten Questions) for screening severe childhood disabilities in community settings. Approximately 7% of the children were positive on the screen and this rate was slightly higher in boys than girls. The sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value of the Ten Questions were perfect or nearly perfect for severe and moderate (serious) disabilities. The positive predictive value was only 22% for serious disabilities, but 70% of children classified as false positives were found to have mild disabilities or other conditions (such as ear infections) for which early detection and treatment could be beneficial. No major age or gender differences in the validity of the questionnaire were apparent, but this finding needs additional study and confirmation with studies based on larger samples. In general, the results indicate that the Ten Questions is a valid tool for screening serious disabilities in children and can potentially improve the efficiency of health services by reducing the number of children requiring attention from professionals. Future studies using the Ten Questions should foster greater attention to the dimensions of childhood disability as a public health problem in the less developed world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-620
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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