Detection with the ADBB

Baby lying on the floor

CIMHP is examining different aspects related to the validation and implementation of the Alarm Distress Baby Scale (ADBB) in primary care in Denmark. The ADBB method is an internationally recognized and well-validated, standardized tool that can help qualify the primary health care worker’s assessment of infant wellbeing and social development.

ADBB is a scientifically based method for systematical screening for signs of difficulties with social contact in children between 2 and 24 months of age. ADBB can be used to detect signs of both congenital difficulties and the early signs of attachment and relational difficulties.

Implementation of ADBB in Denmark

In collaboration with the health visitors in the City of Copenhagen, CIMHP has tested the use of the ADBB method as a universal screening instrument. As well as offering vulnerable families extra support, the objectives have been to study the feasibility of the implementation of the method in the health visitors’ daily practice, and to evaluate the health visitors’ experiences with the method

The results showed that:

  • ADBB is a method which can be successfully implemented in the health visitors’ practice, so that the majority of children seen by an ADBB certified health visitor will be systematically screened with the method.
  • The majority of the health visitors find that the use of ADBB method can qualify a general concern for a child’s development and help the communication with parents, by providing a shared language and knowledgebase about infant social contact. At the same time, many health visitors also find that implementing the ADBB creates some challenges in their daily practice. Informing the parents about the use of the method is time consuming, and there are a number of dilemmas related to implementing the screening of all children, such as it being an added cause for concern for the parents.

You can read more about the study and results here.

CIMHP is still evaluating the ADBB method

While the ADBB is already validated in several countries, CIMHP is currently evaluating the validity of the ADBB method in a Danish setting. Moreover, the researchers are examining how ADBB scores might be associated with factors, such as birth weight, gestational age, mother-infant interaction, and child temperament.