Low birth weight and home intervention strategies: preterm infants.
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We investigated the effects of a 1-year home intervention on premature infants with low (less than 1500 g) and higher (1500-2000 g) birth weights. Infants from each weight condition were block randomly assigned to a control or to one of two treatment groups. One treatment group focused on the development of the infant; the other treatment group focused on the parent-infant interaction. The low birth weight infants obtained significantly lower Bayley mental and motor scores, and were more passive and less intense than the higher birth weight infants. However, the low birth weight infants and their parents were more responsive to the home intervention than were the higher birth weight infants, as demonstrated by changes in the Bayley mental scores and the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) inventory. These findings exemplify the reciprocal relationship between the child's characteristics and parental responding. The importance of selecting the most high-risk premature infants for early home intervention is outlined.
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