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Early developmental intervention programs post hospital discharge to prevent motor and cognitive impairments in preterm infants

  • Protocol
  • Intervention


  • AJ Spittle,

  • J Orton,

  • R Boyd

Ms Alicia Spittle, Physiotherapist, Neonatal Neurology, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, 9th Floor, Neonatal Unit, Royal Women's Hospital, 123 Grattan Street, Carlton, Melbourne, 3153, AUSTRALIA.


This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:

To determine the effect of early developmental intervention programs post hopsital discharge for preterm or low birth weight infants on cognitive and motor development compared with standard medical follow-up at (12 months and 24 months), preschool (3 - <5 years) and school ages (6 - 18 years).

To perform subgroup analysis to determine:

  • the effect of gestational age, birthweight and brain injury on cognitive and motor outcome in response to intervention compared to standard follow-up

  • the effect of interventions that commence as an inpatient compared to commencing post hospital discharge compared to standard follow-up

Population subgroups:

  • Gestational age: extremely preterm (< 28 weeks), very preterm (< 32 weeks) or preterm (< 37 weeks)

  • Birth weight: extremely low birth weight (< 1000 grams), very low birth weight (< 1500 grams), low birth weight (< 2500 grams)

  • Prognosis: high-risk of adverse neurological outcome vs low-risk of adverse neurological outcome. High-risk of adverse neurological outcome includes infants with grade III or grade IV intraventricular haemorrhage and/or periventricular leukomalacia diagnosed prior to the commencement of intervention

Intervention subgroups:

  • Commencement of program: inpatient or outpatient

  • Main focus of intervention: parent-infant relationship, infant development or parent-infant relationship/infant development

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