Background: Parental concerns about their children's development can be used as an indicator of developmental risk. We undertook a systematic review of the prevalence of parents' concerns as an indicator of developmental risk, measured by the Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) and associated risk factors. Methods: Electronic databases, bibliographies and websites were searched and experts contacted. Studies were screened for eligibility and study characteristics were extracted independently by two authors. A summary estimate for prevalence was derived. Meta-regression examined the impact of study characteristics and quality. Meta-analysis was used to derive pooled estimates of the impact of biological and psychosocial risk factors on the odds of parental concerns indicating high developmental risk. Results: Thirty seven studies were identified with a total of 210,242 subjects. Overall 13.8% (95% CI 10.9 -16.8%) of parents had concerns indicating their child was at high developmental risk and 19.8% (95% CI 16.7-22.9%) had concerns indicating their child was at moderate developmental risk. Male gender, low birth weight, poor/fair child health rating, poor maternal mental health, lower socioeconomic status (SES), minority ethnicity, not being read to, a lack of access to health care and not having health insurance were significantly associated with parental concerns indicating a high developmental risk. Conclusions: The prevalence of parental concerns measured with the PEDS indicating developmental risk is substantial. There is increased prevalence associated with biological and psychosocial adversity. Trial Registration: PROSPERO Registration: CRD42012003215.
- Child health
- Developmental risk
- Parental concerns
- Parents evaluation of developmental status (PEDS)
- Risk factors