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Arch Pediatr. 2006 Sep;13(9):1202-8. Epub 2006 Jul 12.

[Difficulties with the follow-up of a cohort of very preterm infants: The EPIPAGE Paris-Petite-Couronne population].

[Article in French]

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Inserm U149, UMR S, IFR69 recherches épidémiologiques en santé périnatale et santé des femmes, 16, avenue Paul-Vaillant-Couturier, 94807 Villejuif cedex, France.



To describe the characteristics of the children of parents who did not respond to a follow-up questionnaire in a cohort of very preterm infants (EPIPAGE study) and to explore the reasons why they did not complete the questionnaires.


The non-respondents (N = 176) were the parents who did not return the questionnaires at 1 and 2 years. Contacts were organised by telephone calls and at home visits.


The families of the non-respondents presented more socioeconomic difficulties and their children were born more preterm than those followed up without difficulties. The efforts made to contact the non-respondents revealed that their families were often confronted with major adverse socioeconomic difficulties, had severe illnesses and psychological troubles. Half of the children of the non-respondents were finally examined at the 5-year assessment. They showed lower performances at the cognitive development test and a poorer health status than the children of the respondents.


When the follow-up does not include the initial population in its totality, the socioeconomic difficulties are underestimated and probably also the rate of sequelae associated with very preterm delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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