Longitudinal patterns of early development in Canadian late preterm infants
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This prospective, longitudinal cohort study examined longitudinal patterns of early development in Canadian children born late preterm. A convenience sample of 82 mothers and their healthy, singleton, late preterm children participated. Mothers completed the Ages and Stages Questionnaires at 4, 8, and 18 months corrected age. Concerns were most commonly reported in the communication and gross motor domains, especially early in development. The proportion of children scoring below the referral cut-off in at least one domain at 4, 8, and 18 months was, respectively, 25.6, 25.6, and 14.6%. Only two children (2.4%) scored below referral cut-off in at least one domain at all three time points. At ages four and eight months, the late preterm sample had significantly lower communication and gross motor scores than the Ages and Stages Questionnaires normative sample. At age four months, there was also a significant difference on the fine motor domain. There were no significant differences at age 18 months. Healthy late preterm children appear to catch up to population norms by age 18 months corrected age. Longer term studies are needed to further clarify early indicators of delay in late preterm children and identity those who require close developmental monitoring.
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