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measuring sitting height

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Pascale Delchevalerie

Nutrition Advisor MSF Belgium

Normal user

7 Feb 2012, 13:35

Hello,

We foresee to measure sitting height during a nutritional survey in South-Sudan. In previous discussion thread, you describe the method with the child sitting on a table...I read also the description of the method used by Schilg and Hulse, but I don't think this will be feasible in a refugee camp setting...
How did you in practice during your surveys in Ethiopia? is it OK if the child is sitting on the height board, at floor level, with the leg straight? How do you do for children < 2 years?

thank you

Mark Myatt

Consultant Epideomiologist

Frequent user

7 Feb 2012, 21:49

I have measures sitting height in Somalia and Ethiopia. The procedure is described in the article reporting the data:

    Standing height was measured to the nearest 0.1 cm using
    portable height boards of standard construction using standard
    methods (Boelaert et al. 1995). Sitting height was measured to
    the nearest 0.1 cm using portable height boards of standard
    construction placed on tables. Children were measured with
    the backs of the knees resting on the edge of the table, thighs
    horizontal, back straight, buttocks and scapula against the
    height board, hands on their knees, looking straight ahead and
    breathing normally (Schilg and Hulse 1997). This deviates from
    best practice in that the feet were not supported and
    the measurement was not routinely taken when the child had 
    exhaled fully (Schilg and Hulse 1997).

We used tables which we borrowed from local health centres, schools, council officers, or from local leaders. I cannot recall any problem finding tables in any of the 200+ villages in which we have done this. I do not think you will find it difficult to find tables to use. If you do then you could travel with a collapsible table.

You could use the approach you suggest as long as you report that was what you did. I would do a small study measuring the same children both ways so that you can adjust your measurement if needed. This would be a matter of finding a correction using ordinary least squares linear regression. A sample size of 60 or so should suffice. You would use corrected sitting height when calculating the SSR.

We used the following eligibility criteria:

    (age >= 24 months AND age <= 59 months)

                     OR

    (height >= 85 cm AND height >= 110 cm)

We used maternal report for age and a marked stick for height.

We did not measure younger children since the measurements are more difficult.

Pascale Delchevalerie

Nutrition Advisor MSF Belgium

Normal user

8 Feb 2012, 09:41

Thank you very much for your rapid answer.

Mark Myatt

Consultant Epideomiologist

Frequent user

9 Feb 2012, 08:46

Very happy to help.

Mark Myatt

Consultant Epideomiologist

Frequent user

28 Sep 2015, 19:08

Did you ever collect the SSR data from South Sudan?

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