Ouden, A.L. den
Spee-Wekke, J. van der
Sigmond-Bruin, E.M. de
TNO Preventie en Gezondheid
|Source:||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 3, 142, 138-142|
Health · Child · Child Development · Child, Preschool · Cohort Studies · Developmental Disabilities · Disabled Children · Health Services · Humans · Infant, Low Birth Weight · Infant, Newborn · Infant, Premature · Learning Disorders · Prospective Studies
Objective. To determine health and disabilities of preterm infants at age 10. Design. Prospective follow-up study. Setting. TNO Preventie en Gezondheid, sector Jeugd, Leiden, the Netherlands. Method. A questionnaire on medical consumption and physical disabilities was sent to the parents of a Dutch cohort of infants born alive in 1983 with a gestational age < 32 weeks and (or) a birth weight < 1500 g. The data were compared with outcomes at 5 years of age and with a peer group in mainstream education (data collected in a representative sample from the school health care system). Results. Questionnaires on 75% of the egilible children were returned. Almost 40% of the preterm children had been admitted to hospital after the age of 5. Children in special education were significantly more often treated by a physiotherapist and (or) speech therapist. Overall 45% of the children suffered from a physical disability. This was six times as frequent as in a peer group from the school health survey. Although the assessment of physical disabilities was based on a paediatric examination at age 5 and on a parental questionnaire at age 10, differences were small. Conclusion. Mild developmental problems and learning disabilities are frequent in preterm infants. Research of preventive methods and timely interventions are needed and should be incorporated in the facilities for neonatal intensive care.