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Kate Barlow, DOT, MS, OTR/L
Stacey Reynolds, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Background: Ghana currently lacks a systematic method for identifying children with developmental delays, and there do not appear to be any culturally sensitive assessment tools available. The objectives of this mixed-methods research study were to explore normal developmental milestones and parental practices in the Ghanaian population. The study also aimed to identify and describe culturally specific factors that should be accounted for on assessments used in the Ghanaian culture.

Methods: Twenty-eight Ghanaian parents were interviewed and asked to participate in a developmental milestone picture-identification task. Quantitative and qualitative data analyses were performed.

Results: The interviews revealed several cultural factors that may need to be accounted for on a standardized assessment for Ghanaian children. Some gross motor and self-care skills (e.g., crawling and toilet training) were reported to develop earlier in Ghanaian children compared to children in the United States.

Discussion: Developmental assessments normed on a U.S. sample may be inappropriate to use in the Ghanaian culture. Renorming of existing developmental assessments for the Ghanaian population is recommended.


The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.