Validation of accuracy and community acceptance of the BIRTHweigh III scale for categorizing newborn weight in rural India

G. L. Darmstadt, V. Kumar, J. C. Shearer, R. Misra, S. Mohanty, A. H. Baqui, P. S. Coffey, S. Awasthi, J. V. Singh, M. Santosham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To determine the accuracy and acceptability of a handheld scale prototype designed for nonliterate users to classify newborns into three weight categories (≥ 2500 g; 2000 to 2499 g; and <2000 g). Study Design: Weights of 1100 newborns in Uttar Pradesh, India, were measured on the test scale and validated against a gold standard. Mothers, family members and community health stakeholders were interviewed to assess the acceptability of the test scale. Result: The test scale was highly sensitive and specific at classifying newborn weight (normal weight: 95.3 and 96.3%, respectively; low birth weight: 90.4 and 99.2%, respectively; very low birth weight: 91.7 and 98.4%, respectively). It was the overall agreement of the community that the test scale was more practical and easier to interpret than the gold standard. Conclusion: The BIRTH weigh III scale accurately identifies low birth weight and very low birth weight newborns to target weight-specific interventions. The scale is extremely practical and useful for resource-poor settings, especially those with low levels of literacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-608
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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