Prematurity is associated with poor neurodevelopmental outcomes, and laws mandate the provision of early intervention services to those infants with disability. However, it is often difficult to identify early which infants would benefit most from these services. The Neurobiologic Risk Score (NBRS) and the Neurodevelopmental Risk Exam (NRE) are instruments used to assess infants at near-term corrected age. These instruments have been shown to correlate with later developmental outcomes. However, the environment of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has changed since the NBRS and NRE were first validated, and it is not known whether they are still able to accurately predict future developmental outcomes. The objective of this study was therefore to examine the ability of the NBRS and NRE, both alone and in combination with socio-economic variables, to predict future developmental outcomes in the contemporary NICU. The subjects were 219 neonates of less than 32 weeks' gestational age discharged from the NICU between November 2001 and December 2006 who had undergone both the NBRS and NRE. Infants were assessed at chronological age 6, 12 and 24 months, with developmental quotients being assigned at these ages. Parental socio-economic data were also collected and analysed. The hypothesis was that the NBRS and NRE would be less effective at predicting neurodevelopmental outcomes in the contemporary NICU. The best measure of future developmental outcome is likely to need to include both neurobiological and socio-economic risk factors.
- developmental assessment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health