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Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2004; 25 Suppl 1:S60-S65.The World Health Organization (WHO) Multicentre Growth Reference Study (MGRS) African site was Accra, Ghana. Its sample was drawn from 10 affluent residential areas where earlier research had demonstrated the presence of a child subpopulation with unconstrained growth. This subpopulation could be identified on the basis of the father's education and household income. The subjects for the longitudinal study were enrolled from 25 hospitals and delivery facilities that accounted for 80% of the study area's births. The cross-sectional sample was recruited at 117 day-care centers used by more than 80% of the targeted subpopulation. Public relations efforts were mounted to promote the study in the community. The large number of facilities involved in the longitudinal and cross-sectional components, the relatively large geographic area covered by the study, and the difficulties of working in a densely populated urban area presented special challenges. Conversely, the high rates of breastfeeding and general support for this practice greatly facilitated the implementation of the MGRS protocol. (author's)
Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2004; 25 Suppl 1:S53-S59.The World Health Organization (WHO) Multicentre Growth Reference Study (MGRS) South American site was Pelotas, Brazil. The sample for the longitudinal component was drawn from three hospitals that account for approximately 90% of the city's deliveries. The cross-sectional sample was drawn from a community survey based on households that participated in the longitudinal sample. One of the criteria for site selection was the availability of a large, community based sample of children whose growth was unconstrained by socioeconomic conditions. Local work done in 1993 demonstrated that children of families with incomes at least six times the minimum wage had a stunting rate of 2.5%. Special public relations and implementation activities were designed to promote the acceptance of the study by the community and its successful completion. Among the major challenges of the site were serving as the MGRS pilot site, low baseline breastfeeding initiation and maintenance rates, and reluctance among pediatricians to acknowledge the relevance of current infant feeding recommendations to higher socioeconomic groups. (author's)
Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2004; 25 Suppl 1:S66-S71.The World Health Organization (WHO) Multicentre Growth Reference Study (MGRS) Asian site was New Delhi, India. Its sample was drawn from 58 affluent neighborhoods in South Delhi. This community was selected to facilitate the recruitment of children who had at least one parent with 17 or more years of education, a key factor associated with unconstrained child growth in this setting. A door-to-door survey was conducted to identify pregnant women whose newborns were subsequently screened for eligibility for the longitudinal study, and children aged 18 to 71 months for the cross-sectional component of the study. A total of 111,084 households were visited over an 18-month period. Newborns were screened at birth at 73 sites. The large number of birthing facilities used by this community, the geographically extensive study area, and difficulties in securing support of pediatricians and obstetricians for the feeding recommendations of the study were among the unique challenges faced by the implementation of the MGRS protocol at this site. (author's)
Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2004; 25 Suppl 1:S78-S83.The World Health Organization (WHO) Multicentre Growth Study (MGRS) Middle East site was Muscat, Oman. A survey in Muscat found that children in households with monthly incomes of at least 800 Omani Rials and at least four years of maternal education experienced unconstrained growth. The longitudinal study sample was recruited from two hospitals that account for over 90% of the city's births; the cross-sectional sample was drawn from the national Child Health Register. Residents of all districts in Muscat within the catchment area of the two hospitals were included except Quriyat, a remote district of the governorate. Among the particular challenges of the site were relatively high refusal rates, difficulty in securing adherence to the protocol's feeding recommendations, locating children selected for the cross-sectional component of the study, and securing the cooperation of the children's fathers. These and other challenges were overcome through specific team building and public relations activities that permitted the successful implementation of the MGRS protocol. (author's)
Measurement and standardization protocols for anthropometry used in the construction of a new international growth reference.
Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2004; 25 Suppl 1:S27-S36.Thorough training, continuous standardization, and close monitoring of the adherence to measurement procedures during data collection are essential for minimizing random error and bias in multicenter studies. Rigorous anthropometry and data collection protocols were used in the WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study to ensure high data quality. After the initial training and standardization, study teams participated in standardization sessions every two months for a continuous assessment of the precision and accuracy of their measurements. Once a year the teams were restandardized against the WHO lead anthropometrist, who observed their measurement techniques and retrained any deviating observers. Robust and precise equipment was selected and adapted for field use. The anthropometrists worked in pairs, taking measurements independently, and repeating measurements that exceeded preset maximum allowable differences. Ongoing central and local monitoring identified anthropometrists deviating from standard procedures, and immediate corrective action was taken. The procedures described in this paper are a model for research settings. (author's)
Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2004; 25 Suppl 1:S37-S45.The objective of the Motor Development Study was to describe the acquisition of selected gross motor milestones among affluent children growing up in different cultural settings. This study was conducted in Ghana, India, Norway, Oman, and the United States as part of the longitudinal component of the World Health Organization (WHO) Multicentre Growth Reference Study (MGRS). Infants were followed from the age of four months until they could walk independently. Six milestones that are fundamental to acquiring self-sufficient erect locomotion and are simple to evaluate were assessed: sitting without support, hands-and-knees crawling, standing with assistance, walking with assistance, standing alone, and walking alone. The information was collected by both the children's caregivers and trained MGRS fieldworkers. The caregivers assessed and recorded the dates when the milestones were achieved for the first time according to established criteria. Using standardized procedures, the fieldworkers independently assessed the motor performance of the children and checked parental recording at home visits. To ensure standardized data collection, the sites conducted regular standardization sessions. Data collection and data quality control took place simultaneously. Data verification and cleaning were performed until all queries had been satisfactorily resolved. (author's)