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Infant Behav Dev. 2012 Dec;35(4):916-26. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2012.09.004. Epub 2012 Oct 11.

Effect of an early intervention programme on development of moderate and late preterm infants at 36 months: a randomized controlled study.

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Department of Neonatology, Woman & Children's Division, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevaal, Oslo, Norway.


Aim of the present study was to examine the long-term effect of an early intervention for preterm infants on cognitive, gross motor and behavioural outcomes at 36 months corrected age. One hundred and eighteen preterm infants born 2005-2006 with gestational age ≥ 30.0 and <36.0 weeks were randomized to an early intervention involving the Mother-Infant Transaction Program (n = 61) or a control group (n = 57). At 36 months, 32 children in the intervention and 30 in the control group were assessed.


Ages & Stages Questionnaire, Ages & Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional, Child Behaviour Checklist 1½-5 and Mullen Scale of Early Learning. The intervention programme had no effect on cognitive, motor or behavioural development in this group of mainly moderate and late preterm infants at 36 months corrected age. Four explanations may be proposed: the programme has a less effect on moderate and late preterm infants than in more preterm infants; modifications of the intervention might increase efficacy; a cumulative effect of the intervention leads to more obvious effects at later ages, and an improved standard care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units may support infant development.

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