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Jornal de Pediatria

On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


MEIO, Maria D. B. B. et al. Pre-school cognitive development of very low birth weight preterm children. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2004, vol.80, n.6, pp. 495-502. ISSN 1678-4782.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the cognitive development of school-aged children born preterm and with very low birthweight. METHODS: A cohort of premature infants born between January, 1991, and September, 1993 was examined at pre-school age. All fo them were born in a public Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, with birth weight less than 1,500g. The WPPSI-R Test was used for cognitive evaluation and applied by psychologists. Babies with malformations, genetic syndromes, congenital infections, transferred from other institutions or born at home, and those with conditions which precluded the application of the test, were excluded. A group of pre-school children in the same city, born at term, were tested for comparison. RESULTS: 79 children were studied, with mean birthweight 1,219.6 g (±168.9); of these, 44 (72.1%) attended school. No significant statistical differenSce was found between the groups (study and loss). The WPPSI-R Test mean scores were: 75.6±11.9 (total); 77±12.9 (performance) and 78.6±11.1 (verbal) for the study group, and 85.1±13.2 (total); 85.3±13.8 (performance) and 87.7±13.9 (verbal) for the comparison group. This difference was significant for total (p < 0.0001), verbal (p < 0.0001) and performance scores (p = 0.002), as well as for the subtests of the WPPSI-R Test. CONCLUSIONS: Children who entered this study showed to have a borderline intellectual functioning at the moment of the evaluation. Results indicate they may face learning difficulties at school, thus requiring adequate stimuli that should be provided by the family and the school.

Keywords : Cognition; psychometric tests; premature; very low birthweight.

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