Article

Comparison of Enrollment in Interventional Therapies Between Late-Preterm and Very Preterm Infants at 12 Months' Corrected Age

New York Medical College, Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Newborn Medicine, 95 Grasslands Rd, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.3). 04/2009; 123(3):804-9. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2008-0928
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine the requirement for therapeutic services of late-preterm infants (34 to 36 weeks' gestation) and morbidities associated with their developmental delays compared with their very preterm (<32 weeks' gestation) counterparts.
We used a retrospective cohort study of former preterm children admitted to the neonatal unit who were evaluated at the Regional Neonatal Follow-up Program of Westchester Medical Center in New York at 12 +/- 2 months' corrected age from January 2005 through October 2006. Logistic regression was used to compare odds ratios between late-preterm and very preterm children who qualified for early intervention services. Antenatal, demographic, and neonatal factors were compared between subgroups.
Of the 497 preterm infants evaluated at the Regional Neonatal Follow-up Program, 127 met inclusion criteria (77 very preterm and 50 late-preterm infants). Of the late-preterm infants, 30% qualified for and received early intervention services, 28% physical therapy, 16% occupational therapy, 10% speech therapy, and 6% special education. In the very preterm subgroup, 70% qualified for and received early intervention services, 66% physical therapy, 32% occupational therapy, 32% speech therapy, and 21% special education. Very preterm children were more likely to be enrolled in therapies than their late-preterm counterparts. However, when adjusting for neonatal comorbidities of prematurity, there was no difference in enrollment in early intervention services between the very preterm and late-preterm infants.
After controlling for comorbidities of prematurity, we found that late-preterm infants requiring admission to the neonatal unit have the same risk as very preterm infants of requiring interventional therapies. This would indicate that it is not only the degree of prematurity but also the morbidities experienced in the neonatal period in conjunction with the period of rapid brain growth that have a profound influence on neurodevelopmental outcomes. This should be considered when planning their hospital discharge and follow-up.

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