Risk determinants in early intervention use during the first postnatal year in children born very preterm

Margo A. Pritchard*, Paul B. Colditz, David Cartwright, Peter H. Gray, David Tudehope, Elaine Beller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Early interventions (EI) are recognised for their potential risk-reduction capacity. Although developmental delay is common in children born very preterm reports continue to suggest poor uptake of EI services. This study examined the risk determinants of EI in Australian children born less than 32 weeks gestation during the first year of life.Methods: As part of a multi-centre-randomised-trial, 195 children were prospectively studied during their first year of life and EI use, type of follow-up, perinatal, social and parental psychosocial risk factors were collected using questionnaires. Child neurodevelopmental disability-status was assessed at 12-months (cerebral palsy, blind, deaf, developmental quotient 1standard deviation (SD) below mean). The associations between EI and variables were examined using Pearson's chi-squared test (χ2) and regression techniques.Results: A total of 55% of children received EI, 51% attended post discharge neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the remainder attended exclusive primary health care. Risk factors included, 50% perinatal, 19% social and 34% psychosocial and at 12-months 23% were categorised as disabled. Low social risk and NICU follow-up attendance were significantly associated with EI use but only perinatal risk (OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.7, 5.6, p = <0.01) and disability (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1, 4.7, p = 0.04) independently predicted EI use.Conclusions: It is reassuring that children with perinatal risk receive EI, opportunity remains to improve EI uptake in families with social and parental psychosocial risk during the first year of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number201
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2013


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