Aim To explore changes in motor and cognitive outcomes in very preterm (VP; gestational age < 30 weeks) born children between ages five and six years, and to determine whether changes in these outcomes were associated with the use of healthcare therapies and educational provisions. Study design Single-center observational cohort study. Five-year-old VP born children of a one-year-cohort of our neonatal follow-up program (N = 90) were invited for re-assessments at age six. Use of healthcare therapies and educational provisions was registered at ages five and six years. Motor function (Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 [M-ABC-2]; higher scores indicate better functioning) and IQ (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale for Intelligence [WPPSI-III-NL]) were assessed at both ages. Results Sixty-four VP born children were seen at ages five and at six years. In this year, 61% received healthcare therapies and/or educational provisions. M-ABC-2 scores of VP born children who received healthcare therapy and/or educational provisions were significantly higher (M = 8.9 [SD = 3.2]) at age six years than at age five years (M = 7.5 [SD = 3.3]); p < 0.00). M-ABC-2 scores remained stable in the average range in VP born children without any support. IQ scores remained stable irrespective of received support. Conclusions Improvements in motor outcomes are associated with the use of healthcare therapies and/or educational support between ages five and six years in VP born children. Future studies need to determine the efficacy of existing interventions, and to develop tailored interventions to support VP born children in the transfer period from preschool to primary education.
van Veen, S., Aarnoudse-Moens, C. S. H., Oosterlaan, J., van Sonderen, L., de Haan, T. R., van Kaam, A. H., & van Wassenaer-Leemhuis, A. G. (2018). Very preterm born children at early school age: Healthcare therapies and educational provisions. Early Human Development, 117, 39-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2017.12.010