Current state of high-risk infant follow-up care in the United States: results of a national survey of academic follow-up programs.

Division of Neonatology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
Journal of perinatology: official journal of the California Perinatal Association (Impact Factor: 2.35). 07/2011; 32(4):293-8. DOI: 10.1038/jp.2011.97
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT High-risk infant follow-up programs have the potential to act as multipurpose clinics by providing continuity of clinical care, education of health care trainees and facilitating outcome data research. Currently there are no nationally representative data on high-risk infant follow-up practices in the United States. The objective of this study is to collect information about the composition of high-risk infant follow-up programs associated with academic centers in the United States, with respect to their structure, function, funding resources and developmental assessment practices, and to identify the barriers to establishment of such programs.
Staff neonatologists, follow-up program directors and division directors of 170 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) associated with pediatric residency programs were invited to participate in an anonymous online survey from October 2009 to January 2010.
The overall response rate was 84%. Ninety three percent of the respondents have a follow-up program associated with their NICU. Birth weight, gestational age and critical illness in the NICU were the major criteria for follow-up care. Management of nutrition and neurodevelopmental assessments was the most common service provided. Over 70% have health care trainees in the clinic. About 75% of the respondents have the neurodevelopmental outcome data available. Most of the respondents reported multiple funding sources. Lack of personnel and funding were the most common causes for not having a follow-up program.
High-risk infant follow-up programs associated with academic centers in the United States are functioning as multidisciplinary programs providing clinical care, trainee education and facilitating outcomes research.

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