A 2006 Canadian survey showed a large variability in neonatal follow-up practices. In 2010, all 26 tertiary level Neonatal Follow-Up clinics joined the Canadian Neonatal Follow-Up Network (CNFUN) and agreed to implement a standardized assessment (including the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III (Bayley-III) at 18 months corrected age for children born < 29 weeks’ gestation. It is unknown whether the variability in follow-up practices lessened as a result.
To describe the current status of neonatal follow-up services in Canada and changes over time.
A comprehensive online survey was sent to all tertiary level CNFUN Follow-up programs. Questions were based on previous survey results, current literature, and investigator expertise and consensus.
Respondents included 23 of 26 (88%) CNFUN programs. All sites provide neurodevelopmental screening and referrals in a multidisciplinary setting with variations in staffing. CNFUN programs vary with most offering five to seven visits. Since 2006, assessments at 18 months CA increased from 84% to 91% of sites, Bayley-III use increased from 21% to 74% (P=0.001) and eligibility for follow-up was expanded for children with stroke, congenital diaphragmatic hernia and select anomalies detected in utero. Audit data is collected by > 80% of tertiary programs.
Care became more consistent after CNFUN; 18-month assessments and Bayley-III use increased significantly. However, marked variability in follow-up practices persists.