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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2000 Feb;21(1):19-26.

Thirty-six-month outcome of prenatal cocaine exposure for term or near-term infants: impact of early case management.

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Department of Pediatrics, Children's Mercy Hospital, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, 64108, USA.


Gestational cocaine use is associated with serious pregnancy complications having fetal and neonatal implications. However, many cocaine-abusing women deliver uneventfully at term. The purpose of this study was to assess the neurodevelopmental outcome for term or near-term infants after prenatal cocaine exposure and to determine whether that outcome would be modified by early, intensive family case management. Cocaine-exposed infants identified after delivery at an urban hospital were alternately assigned to receive case management (n = 70) or routine follow-up (n = 48). A matched, non-drug-exposed group of infants was identified for comparison (n = 41). Infants aged up to 36 months were serially evaluated in a multidisciplinary clinic with cognitive, psychomotor, and language testing. Group comparisons were performed using one-way analysis of variance. There were no statistical differences in mean cognitive, psychomotor, or language quotients between cocaine-exposed and non-drug-exposed infant groups aged up to 36 months. At 6 months of age, case-managed cocaine-exposed infants had a significantly higher mean Bayley Mental Developmental Index score than those who were routinely managed. However, no differences were present at subsequent assessments. Among cocaine-exposed infants who remained with their mothers at 36 months, verbal scores were significantly higher for case-managed compared with routine-managed infants. The negative effects of urban, low socioeconomic status may overshadow the impact of prenatal cocaine exposure on early childhood outcome for those infants born without prenatal complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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