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Effect of primary language on developmental testing in children born extremely preterm.

Lowe JR, et al. Acta Paediatr. 2013.

Abstract

AIM: The aim of this study was to better understand the impact of non-English language spoken in the home on measures of cognition, language and behaviour in toddlers born extremely preterm.

METHODS: Eight hundred and fifty children born at <28 weeks of gestational ages were studied. 427 male and 423 female participants from three racial/ethnic groups (White, Black and Hispanic) were evaluated at 18-22 months adjusted for age using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development third edition and the Brief Infant Toddler Social Emotional Assessment (BITSEA). Children whose primary language was Spanish (n = 98) were compared with children whose primary language was English (n = 752), using multivariable regression adjusted for medical and psychosocial factors.

RESULTS: Cognitive scores were similar between groups; however, receptive, expressive and composite language scores were lower for children whose primary language was Spanish. These differences remained significant after adjustment for medical and socio-economic factors. Spanish-speaking children scored worse on the BITSEA competence and problem scores using univariate analysis, but not after adjustment for medical and socio-economic factors.

CONCLUSION: Our finding that preterm children whose primary language was Spanish had similar cognitive but lower language scores than those whose primary language was English suggests that using English language-based testing tools may introduce bias against non-English-speaking children born preterm.

©2013 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

PMID

23735043 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

PMCID

PMC4108617

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