Motor development in very preterm and very low-birth-weight children from birth to adolescence: A meta-analysis

J.F. de Kieviet, J.P. Piek, C.S.H. Aarnoudse-Moens, J. Oosterlaan

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Context: Infants who are very preterm (born ≤32 weeks of gestation) and very low birth weight (VLBW) (weighing ≤1500 g) are at risk for poor developmental outcomes. There is increasing evidence that very preterm birth and VLBW have a considerable effect on motor development, although findings are inconsistent. Objective: To investigate the relationship between very preterm birth and VLBW and motor development. Data Sources: The computerized databases EMBASE, PubMed, and Web of Knowledge were used to search for English-language peer-reviewed articles published between January 1992 and August 2009. Study Selection: Studies were included if they reported motor scores of very preterm and VLBW children without congenital anomalies using 1 of 3 established and widely used motor tests: the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (BSID-II), the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC), and the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP). Forty-one articles were identified, encompassing 9653 children. Results: In comparison with term-born peers, very preterm and VLBW children obtained significantly lower scores on all 3 motor tests: BSID-II: d=-0.88 (95% confidence interval [CI], -0.96 to -0.80; P<.001), MABC: d=-0.65 (95% CI, -0.70 to -0.60; P<.001), and BOTMP: d=-0.57 (95% CI, -0.68 to -0.46; P<.001). Whereas motor outcomes on the BSID-II show a catch-up effect in the first years of development (r=0.50, P=.01), the results on the MABC demonstrate a nonsignificantly greater deficit with increasing age during elementary school and early adolescence (r=-0.59, P=.07). Conclusion: Being born preterm or VLBW is associated with significant motor impairment persisting throughout childhood. ©2009 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2235-2242
Number of pages8
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2009


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