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40 - Assessment of preterm infants' neurobehavioral functioning: reliability, validity, normative data, and prediction to age two

from Part VI - Assessing the Outcome of the Asphyxiated Infant

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 November 2010

Anneliese F. Korner
Affiliation:
Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA, USA
David K. Stevenson
Affiliation:
Stanford University School of Medicine, California
William E. Benitz
Affiliation:
Stanford University School of Medicine, California
Philip Sunshine
Affiliation:
Stanford University School of Medicine, California
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Summary

Back in 1977, we began to develop a neurobehavioral assessment for preterm infants that would allow us to measure the effects of a longitudinal, randomized, controlled intervention study with preterm infants. In designing our assessment procedure we started from the premise that the most relevant and important goal of any intervention would be to facilitate the normality of the infants developmental course so that their maturity and ultimate development would not be too discrepant from that of full-term newborns within the normal range. Therefore, to assess the effects of our intervention, our prime objective was to use an instrument that could measure the differential maturity of functioning of randomly assigned experimental and control groups of preterm infants.

At the time, only very few assessments existed that measured the neurobehavioral maturity of premature newborns. Most of the ones available were techniques that measured gestational age and they were applicable only to infants within the first week after birth (e.g., Robinson, Dubowitz et al., and Finnström). The only assessments available in 1977 for measuring longitudinally the maturity of functioning of preterm infants were those by Amiel-Tison and Saint-Anne Dargassies.

Although these French neonatal neurologists systematically assessed and documented the maturational course of neural functions of preterm infants aged 28 weeks postconception to term, they illustrated and scored the age differences in infant functioning only in 2-week increments.

Type
Chapter
Information
Fetal and Neonatal Brain Injury
Mechanisms, Management and the Risks of Practice
, pp. 817 - 828
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

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