New Ballard Score expanded to include premature infants

Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Journal of Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 3.79). 10/1991; 119(3):417-23. DOI: 10.1016/S0022-3476(05)82056-6
Source: PubMed


The Ballard Maturational Score was refined and expanded to achieve greater accuracy and to include extremely premature neonates. To test validity, accuracy, interrater reliability, and optimal postnatal age at examination, the resulting New Ballard Score (NBS) was assessed for 578 newly born infants and the results were analyzed. Gestational ages ranged from 20 to 44 weeks and postnatal ages at examination ranged from birth to 96 hours. In 530 infants, gestational age by last menstrual period was confirmed by agreement within 2 weeks with gestational age by prenatal ultrasonography (C-GLMP). For these infants, correlation between gestational age by NBS and C-GLMP was 0.97. Mean differences between gestational age by NBS and C-GLMP were 0.32 +/- 1.58 weeks and 0.15 +/- 1.46 weeks among the extremely premature infants (less than 26 weeks) and among the total population, respectively. Correlations between the individual criteria and C-GLMP ranged from 0.72 to 0.82. Interrater reliability of NBS, as determined by correlation between raters who rated the same subgroup of infants, ws 0.95. For infants less than 26 weeks of gestational age, the greatest validity (97% within 2 weeks of C-GLMP) was seen when the examination was performed before 12 hours of postnatal age. For infants at least 26 weeks of gestational age, percentages of agreement with C-GLMP remained constant, averaging 92% for all postnatal age categories up to 96 hours. The NBS is a valid and accurate gestational assessment tool for extremely premature infants and remains valid for the entire newborn infant population.

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    • "Each mother brought her infant to the follow-up clinic when the infant was 4 months old (age corrected for prematurity for infants below 37 weeks gestation; Ballard et al., 1991). Infants were videotaped in the BAIT (Garcia Coll et al., 1988, 1992). "
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    ABSTRACT: This was a prospective longitudinal multisite study of the effects of prenatal cocaine and/or opiate exposure on temperament in 4-month-olds of the Maternal Lifestyle Study ( N = 958: 366 cocaine exposed, 37 opiate exposed, 33 exposed to both drugs, 522 matched comparison). The study evaluated positivity and negativity during The Behavior Assessment of Infant Temperament (Garcia Coll et al., 1988). Parents rated temperament (Infant Behavior Questionnaire; Rothbart, 1981). Cocaine-exposed infants showed less positivity overall, mainly during activity and threshold items, more negativity during sociability items, and less negativity during irritability and threshold items. Latent profile analysis indicated individual temperament patterns were best described by three groups: low/moderate overall reactivity, high social negative reactivity, and high nonsocial negative reactivity . Infants with heavy cocaine exposure were more likely in high social negative reactivity profile, were less negative during threshold items, and required longer soothing intervention. Cocaine- and opiate-exposed infants scored lower on Infant Behavior Questionnaire smiling and laughter and duration of orienting scales. Opiate-exposed infants were rated as less respondent to soothing. By including a multitask measure of temperament we were able to show context-specific behavioral dysregulation in prenatally cocaine-exposed infants. The findings indicate flatter temperament may be specific to nonsocial contexts, whereas social interactions may be more distressing for cocaine-exposed infants.
    Development and Psychopathology 06/2015; -1:1-18. DOI:10.1017/S0954579415000504 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    • "GERD was based on need for antireflux medications as determined by the physician. Maturity level was measured as GA in weeks at birth, which was determined by physical examination using the New Ballard Score (Ballard et al., 1991). Milk type was assessed on the day when infants reached each milestone as either having some breast milk or having formula and used as a time-varying covariate in the analysis because of its potential to affect the feeding progression. "
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    ABSTRACT: Among infants born prematurely, competence at oral feeding is necessary for growth and hospital discharge. Extremely preterm (EP) infants (28 weeks of gestational age [GA]) are at risk for a variety of medical complications, which can limit the infant's capacity to develop oral feeding competence. This study examined feeding progression by assessing timing of acquisition of five early feeding milestones among EP infants and the impact of immaturity and medical complications. A chart review was conducted for 94 EP infants who participated in a larger longitudinal randomized study. Feeding progression was defined as infants' postmenstrual age (PMA) at five milestones: first enteral feeding, full enteral feeding, first oral feeding, half oral feeding, and full oral feeding. GA at birth and five medical complications (neurological risk, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotizing enterocolitis, patent ductus arteriosus, and gastroesophageal reflux disease) were used as potential factors influencing the feeding progression. Linear mixed models were used to examine feeding progression across the milestones and contributions of GA at birth and five medical complications on the progression, after controlling for milk type as a covariate. EP infants gradually achieved feeding milestones; however, the attainment of the feeding milestones slowed significantly for infants with younger GA at birth and the presence of medical complications, including neurological risk, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotizing enterocolitis, and patent ductus arteriosus but not gastroesophageal reflux disease. Milk type was a significant covariate for all analyses, suggesting that infants fed with breast milk achieved each of five milestones earlier than formula-fed infants. Improved understanding of the timing of essential feeding milestones among EP infants and the contribution of specific medical conditions to the acquisition of these milestones may allow for more targeted care to support feeding skill development.
    Nursing research 05/2015; 64(3):159-167. DOI:10.1097/NNR.0000000000000093 · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    • "For all preterm neonates included in the study, gestational age was calculated based on the date of last menstrual period and confirmed by neonatal examination using the modified Ballard score [10]. Enteral feeds were commenced at 10 to 20 mL/kg per day and increased by 10 to 30 mL/kg per day as tolerated, up to a maximum of 150 to 180 mL/kg per day. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. Evaluating the efficacy and safety of arginine and glutamine supplementation in decreasing the incidence of NEC among preterm neonates. Methods. Prospective case-control study done on 75 preterm neonates ≤34 weeks, divided equally into L-arginine group receiving enteral L-arginine, glutamine group receiving enteral glutamine, and control group. Serum L-arginine and glutamine levels were measured at time of enrollment (sample 1), after 14 days of enrollment (sample 2), and at time of diagnosis of NEC (sample 3). Results. The incidence of NEC was 9.3%. There was no difference in the frequency of NEC between L-arginine and control groups (). NEC was not detected in glutamine group; L-arginine concentrations were significantly lower in arginine group than control group in both samples while glutamine concentrations were comparable in glutamine and control groups in both samples. No significant difference was found between groups as regards number of septic episodes, duration to reach full oral intake, or duration of hospital stay. Conclusion. Enteral L-arginine supplementation did not seem to reduce the incidence of NEC. Enteral glutamine may have a preventive role against NEC if supplied early to preterm neonates. However, larger studies are needed to confirm these findings. This work is registered in ( Identifier: NCT01263041).
    International Journal of Pediatrics 04/2015; 2015:1-7. DOI:10.1155/2015/856091
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