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Pediatr Clin North Am. 1991 Dec;38(6):1513-28.

Effectiveness of developmental intervention in the first five years of life.

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High-Risk Infant Follow-Up Program, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.


Developmental intervention in the first 5 years of life is an expanding, complex enterprise. Documenting efficacy by traditional scientific methods has proven to be elusive for a number of practical reasons, e.g., target population heterogeneity, methodology variability, inadequate outcome measures, and cost of longitudinal cohort designs. Nevertheless, despite these shortcomings, there is accumulating research information as to which types of intervention approaches are likely to be most beneficial to specific groups of infants and children and their families. It is quite clear that preventive strategies for at-risk children and families are different than ameliorative strategies for children with established disabilities. It is also clear that comprehensive evaluation of effectiveness must include consideration of both functional child gains (e.g., social, communication, mobility, and adaptive skills) and enhancement of family function. It is the pediatrician's responsibility to be adequately informed about contemporary developmental interventions in order to balance parental hopes and needs with potential benefits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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