Past Studies

Selection of studies using the MDAT (ongoing and completed)

The tool has been well adopted. To date the 2010 publication has achieved 80 citations (Scopus) and 45,306 full text view (PlumX Metrics).

PBI, Kenya (2018)

Pre-term birth initiative investigating developmental outcomes of pre-term babies (6,12,18 months) born in neonatal units in Kenya. 

EN-SMILING, Bangladesh, Nepal & Tanzania (2017)

Long term follow up of 20,000 children to promote early identification of adverse developmental outcomes. This will compare the use of the MDAT, IYCD (parent report questionnaire) and the CREDI along with the Bayley III. 

SHINE, Zimbabwe (2016)

Trial investigating single and combined effects of WASH and Nutrition on early child development at 2 years of age in 1,600 children. This trial finished in 2016. The MDAT identified differences between children with and without HIV exposure in utero but only identified very small differences between children with and without the WASH and nutrition interventions. 

Sugira Muryango, Rwanda (2017)

Evaluating effects of home-based parenting intervention on child development. This trial is still underway.

CHAIN, Pakistan, Uganda, Malawi (2016-2018)

Investigating developmental outcomes of children with severe acute malnutrition vs those with moderate malnutrition and community cohorts. This trial is still underway but some results have been presented at the Paediatric Academy of Science. 

Blantyre Malaria Project, Malawi (2010)

The MDAT has been used for many years in assessing children with retinopathy‐positive cerebral malaria (CM) for neurocognitive sequelae, as well as for those children with encephalitis and has demonstrated significant developmental delay in children with these conditions. 

Examples of previous studies using the MDAT:


Weckman, AM, Conroy, AL, Madanitsa, M, Gnaneswaran, B, McDonald, CR, Kalilani-Phiri, L, Chandna, J, Ali, D, Mwapasa, V, Khairallah, C, Thwai, KL, Meshnick, SR, Taylor, SM, ter Kuile, FO, Kain, K, Gladstone, M. Neurocognitive outcomes in Malawian children exposed to malaria during pregnancy; An observational birth cohort study. PLoS Medicine, 18 (9) e1003701.

Daniel, A, Bwanali, M, Chimoyo Tenthani, J, Gladstone, M, Voskuijl, W, Potani, I, Ziwoya, F, Chidzalo, K, Mbale, E, Heath, E, Bourdon, C, Njirammadzi, J, van den Heuvel, M, Bandsma, RHJ,  A Mixed-Methods Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial of a Hospital-Based Psychosocial Stimulation and Counseling Program for Caregivers and Children with Severe Acute Malnutrition, Current Developments in Nutrition,  Volume 5, Issue 8, August 2021, nzab100,

Daniel AI, Bwanali M, Ohuma EO, Bourdon C, Gladstone M, et al. (2021) Pathways between caregiver body mass index, the home environment, child nutritional status, and development in children with severe acute malnutrition in Malawi. PLoS ONE 16(8):

Pesu H, Mutumba R, Mbabazi J, Olsen MF, Mølgaard C, Michaelsen KF, Ritz C, Filteau S, Briend A, Mupere E, Friis H, Grenov B. The Role of Milk Protein and Whey Permeate in Lipid-based Nutrient Supplements on the Growth and Development of Stunted Children in Uganda: A Randomized Trial Protocol (MAGNUS). Curr Dev Nutr. 2021 Apr 24;5(5):nzab067. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzab067. PMID: 34027295; PMCID: PMC8128719.

Nyanza, E.C., Bernier, F.P., Martin, J.W., Manyama, M., Hatfield, J., Dewey, D., 2021. Effects of prenatal exposure and co-exposure to metallic or metalloid elements on early infant neurodevelopmental outcomes in areas with small-scale gold mining activities in Northern Tanzania. Environment International 149, 106104.. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2020.106104

Jensen, S.K., Placencio-Castro, M., Murray, S.M., Brennan, R.T., Goshev, S., Farrar, J., Yousafzai, A., Rawlings, L.B., Wilson, B., Habyarimana, E., Sezibera, V., Betancourt, T.S., 2021. Effect of a home-visiting parenting program to promote early childhood development and prevent violence: a cluster-randomized trial in Rwanda. BMJ Global Health 6, e003508.. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2020-003508

Namazzi, G., Tumwine, J.K., Hildenwall, H., Ndeezi, G., Mubiri, P., Hanson, C., Kakooza-Mwesige, A., Waiswa, P., 2020. Neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm babies during infancy in Eastern Uganda: a prospective cohort study. Global Health Action 13, 1820714.. doi:10.1080/16549716.2020.1820714

Olsen, M.F., Iuel-Brockdorff, A.-S., Yaméogo, C.W., Cichon, B., Fabiansen, C., Filteau, S., Phelan, K., Ouédraogo, A., Michaelsen, K.F., Gladstone, M., Ashorn, P., Briend, A., Ritz, C., Friis, H., Christensen, V.B., 2020. Impact of food supplements on early child development in children with moderate acute malnutrition: A randomised 2 x 2 x 3 factorial trial in Burkina Faso. PLOS Medicine 17, e1003442.. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003442

Elizabeth L Prado, Kenneth Maleta, Bess L Caswell, Matthews George, Lisa M Oakes, Michaela C DeBolt, Megan G Bragg, Charles D Arnold, Lora L Iannotti, Chessa K Lutter, Christine P Stewart, Early Child Development Outcomes of a Randomized Trial Providing 1 Egg Per Day to Children Age 6 to 15 Months in Malawi, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 150, Issue 7, July 2020, Pages 1933–1942,

Barnhart, D.A., Farrar, J., Murray, S.M., Brennan, R.T., Antonaccio, C.M., Sezibera, V., Ingabire, C., Godfroid, K., Bazubagira, S., Uwimana, O., Kamurase, A., Wilson, B., Rawlings, L.B., Yousafzai, A., Betancourt, T.S., 2020. Lay-worker Delivered Home Visiting Promotes Early Childhood Development and Reduces Violence in Rwanda: A Randomized Pilot. Journal of Child and Family Studies 29, 1804–1817.. doi:10.1007/s10826-020-01709-1

Oneko, M., Otieno, N.A., Dollard, S.C., Lanzieri, T.M., 2020. Neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants with congenital cytomegalovirus infection in Western Kenya. Journal of Clinical Virology 128, 104367.. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104367

Ezenwa, B., Ezeaka, C., Fajolu, I., Ogbenna, A., Olowoyeye, O., Nwaiwu, O., Opoola, Z., Olorunfemi, G., 2020. Impact of Erythropoietin in the management of Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy in resource-constrained settings: protocol for a randomized control trial. BMC Neurology 20.. doi:10.1186/s12883-020-01751-y

Ntozini R, Chandna J, Evans C, Chasekwa B, Majo F, Kandawasvika G, Tavengwa N, Mutasa B, Mutasa K, Moulton LH, Humphrey, J, Gladstone, M. Prendergast, A. Early child development in children who are HIV-exposed uninfected compared to children who are HIV-unexposed: Observational sub-study of a cluster-randomised trial in rural Zimbabwe, Journal of the International AIDS Society, Jan 2020

Murphy R, Jolley E, Lynch P, Mankhwazi M, Mbukwa J, Bechange S, Gladstone MJ, Schmidt E. Estimated prevalence of disability and developmental delay among preschool children in rural Malawi: Findings from “Tikule Limodzi,” a cross-sectional survey, Child Care, Health and Development, 6(2):187-194 Mar 2020

Chandna J, Ntozini R, Evans C, Kandawasvika G, Chasekwa B, Majo F, Mutasa K, Tavengwa N, Mutasa B, Mbuya M, Moulton, L, Humphrey, J, Prendergast, A, Gladstone, MEffects of improved complementary feeding and improved water, sanitation and hygiene on early child development among HIV-exposed children: substudy of a cluster randomised trial in rural Zimbabwe, BMJ Global Health, 5(1) e001718 Jan 2020

Namazzi, G., Hildenwall, H., Mubiri, P., Hanson, C., Nalwadda, C., Nampijja, M., Kakooza-Mwesige, A., Waiswa, P., Tumwine, J.K., 2019. Prevalence and associated factors of neurodevelopmental disability among infants in eastern Uganda: a population based study. BMC Pediatrics 19.. doi:10.1186/s12887-019-1769-z

Sánchez-Vincitore, L.V., Schaettle, P., Castro, A., 2019. Validation of the Malawi Developmental Assessment Tool for children in the Dominican Republic: Preliminary results. PLOS ONE 14, e0221162.. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0221162

Masuda, K., Chitundu, M., 2019. Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation Using Spirulina platensis during the First 1000 Days is Positively Associated with Development in Children under Five Years: A Follow up of A Randomized Trial in Zambia. Nutrients 11, 730.. doi:10.3390/nu11040730

Langfitt, J.T., Mcdermott, M.P., Brim, R., Mboma, S., Potchen, M.J., Kampondeni, S.D., Seydel, K.B., Semrud-Clikeman, M., Taylor, T.E., 2019. Neurodevelopmental Impairments 1 Year After Cerebral Malaria. Pediatrics 143, e20181026.. doi:10.1542/peds.2018-1026

Michael J. Boivin, Arpita Mohanty, Alla Sikorskii, Maclean Vokhiwa, Jed G. Magen & Melissa Gladstone (2019) Early and middle childhood developmental, cognitive, and psychiatric outcomes of Malawian children affected by retinopathy positive cerebral malaria, Child Neuropsychology, 25:1, 81-102, DOI: 10.1080/09297049.2018.1451497

Olsen MF, Iuel-Brockdorff A-S, Yameogo CW, Cichon B, Fabiansen C, Filteau S, Phelan K, Ouedraogo A, Wells JC, Briend A, et alEarly development in children with moderate acute malnutrition: A cross-sectional study in Burkina Faso, Maternal and Child Nutrition, 16(2) e12928 Apr 2020

Gómez, L., Crowell, C., Njuguna, I., Cranmer, L. Chebet, D., Maleche-Obimbo, E. Gladstone, M., Wamalwa, D. John-Stewart, G. Benki-Nugent, S. Improved neurodevelopment following antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected children. February 2018, The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. doi.10.1097/INF.0000000000001942.

Gelli, A. Margolies, A. Santacroce, M. Sproule, K. Theis, S. Roschnik, N.Twalibu, A. Chidalwenga, G. Cooper, A. Moorhead, T. Gladstone, M. Kariger, P. Katundu, M.  Improving child nutrition and development through community based childcare centres in Malawi- The NEEP-IE study: Rationale, randomised design and baseline data.Trials, June 19; 18 (1), 284. doi: 10.7189/jogh.08.020704

Van Heuvel, M Voskjul, W. Bandsma, R. Chidzalo, K. Gladstone,M. Behavioural and Developmental Outcomes of Children in a Malnutrition Unit in Malawi. Journal of Global Health. December 2017.

Gladstone, M, White S, Kafulafula G, Neilson JP, Van den Broek N. Post-neonatal mortality, morbidity, and developmental outcome after ultrasound-dated preterm birth in rural Malawi: a community-based cohort study, PLoS Medicine, 2011 Nov;8(11):e1001121. Epub 2011 Nov 8.

Boivin, M.J. Gladstone, M., Vokhiwa, M., Birbeck, G., Magen, J., Page, C., Semrud-Clikeman, M., Kauye, F., Taylor, T., Developmental outcomes in Malawian children with retinopathy-confirmed cerebral malaria. Tropical Medicine and International Health, March 2011, 16 (3), 263-271.