The Neuromotor Behavior of Preterm and Full-term Children by Three Years of Age: Quality of Movement and Variability


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Abstract

Thirty-six preterm and full-term children were seen during the first year of life and at 3 years old. The Neuromotor Behavioral Inventory (NBI)-Version for 3 Year Olds (a 5-category measure of Gross Motor and Fine Motor Development, Reaction to Movement, Neurological Reflexes and Reactions, and Neuromotor Outcome) was used with three groups: healthy preterm, sick preterm, and healthy full term. The groups differed in gross motor, fine motor, reaction to movement, and neuromotor outcome at 3 years of age with the greatest difference between the sick preterm group and the other groups. Quality of movement deteriorated between 12 months and 3 years. Increased frequency of “suspect” or “abnormal” outcomes during the first year was associated with an unfavorable outcome at 3 years of age. Variability, i.e., a change in outcome from one time to another, was not associated with an unfavorable outcome when frequency of unfavorable outcome during the first year was taken into account. Prematurity, perinatal illness, and frequency of unfavorable outcome during the first year were found to have an adverse impact on neuromotor behavior.

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