Improving the Neonatal Research Network Annual Certification for Neurologic Examination of the 18-22 Month Child
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To describe the Neonatal Research Network's efforts to improve the certification process for the Follow-Up Study neurologic exam and to evaluate inter-rater agreement before and after two annual training workshops. STUDY DESIGN: The Neonatal Research Network Follow-Up Study is a multi-center observational study that has examined more than 11 500 infants from 1998-2010 and born ≤26 weeks gestational age at 18-22 months corrected age for neurodevelopmental outcome. The percentages of examiners who agreed with the Gold Standard examiner on 4 neurodevelopmental outcomes on the initial training video and a test video were calculated. Consistency among examiners was assessed with the first-order agreement coefficient statistic. RESULTS: Improvements in agreement among examiners occurred between 2009 and 2010 and between initial training and test. Examiner agreement with the Gold Standard during the initial training was 83%-91% in 2009 and 89%-99% in 2010. Examiner agreement on the workshop test video increased from 2009-2010 with agreement reaching 100% for all four neurodevelopmental outcomes examined in 2010. First-order agreement coefficient values for the four neurodevelopmental outcomes on the training videos ranged from 0.64-0.82 in 2009 and 0.77-0.97 in 2010. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate the importance of annual certification and the benefits of evaluation and revision of certification protocols to achieve high levels of confidence in neurodevelopmental study outcomes for multi-center networks.
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ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Chorioamnionitis is strongly linked to preterm birth and neonatal infection. The association between histological and clinical chorioamnionitis and cognitive, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental outcomes among extremely preterm neonates is less clear. We evaluated the impact of chorioamnionitis on 18- to 22-month neurodevelopmental outcomes in a contemporary cohort of extremely preterm neonates. OBJECTIVE To compare the neonatal and neurodevelopmental outcomes of 3 groups of extremely low-gestational-age infants with increasing exposure to perinatal inflammation: no chorioamnionitis, histological chorioamnionitis alone, or histological plus clinical chorioamnionitis. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Longitudinal observational study at 16 centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Two thousand three hundred ninety extremely preterm infants born at less than 27 weeks' gestational age (GA) between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2008, with placental histopathology and 18 to 22 months' corrected age follow-up data were eligible. MAIN EXPOSURE Chorioamnionitis. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Outcomes included cerebral palsy, gross motor functional limitation, behavioral scores (according to the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment), cognitive and language scores (according to the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition), and composite measures of death/neurodevelopmental impairment. Multivariable logistic and linear regression models were developed to assess the association between chorioamnionitis and outcomes while controlling for important variables known at birth. RESULTS Neonates exposed to chorioamnionitis had a lower GA and higher rates of early-onset sepsis and severe periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage as compared with unexposed neonates. In multivariable models evaluating death and neurodevelopmental outcomes, inclusion of GA in the model diminished the association between chorioamnionitis and adverse outcomes. Still, histological plus clinical chorioamnionitis was associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment as compared with no chorioamnionitis (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.38 [95% CI, 1.32 to 4.28] without GA; adjusted OR, 2.00 [95% CI, 1.10 to 3.64] with GA as a covariate). Histological chorioamnionitis alone was associated with lower odds of death/neurodevelopmental impairment as compared with histological plus clinical chorioamnionitis (adjusted OR, 0.68 [95% CI, 0.52 to 0.89] without GA; adjusted OR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.49 to 0.89] with GA as a covariate). Risk of behavioral problems did not differ statistically between groups. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Antenatal exposure to chorioamnionitis is associated with altered odds of cognitive impairment and death/neurodevelopmental impairment in extremely preterm infants.02/2014; 168(2):137-47. DOI:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4248