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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2019 Dec;40(9):725-734. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000744.

Psychiatric Symptoms: Prevalence, Co-occurrence, and Functioning Among Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns at Age 10 Years.

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University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.
Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.



To evaluate the percentage of children born extremely preterm (EP) who screen positive for ≥1 DSM-IV psychiatric disorders, the co-occurrence of and sex-related differences in these classifications, and the functional correlates of psychiatric symptoms.


The Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn (ELGAN) Study is a prospective cohort follow-up of children born <28 weeks' gestation. For 871 10-year-old children, parents completed the Child Symptom Inventory-4 (CSI-4), a child educational/medical history questionnaire, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL).


At age 10 years, ELGANs were more likely to screen positive for a number of psychiatric disorders when compared with normative expectations on the CSI-4, with a few sex-related differences. Fifteen percent of participants screened positive for 1 disorder, 7% for 2, 3% for 3, and 4% for ≥4 psychiatric disorders. Compared with children who did not screen positive for psychiatric disorders, children who screened positive for ≥3 psychiatric disorders were approximately twice as likely to have repeated a grade, have an individualized educational program, have an individual school aide, and to require special remediation classes. Children who screened positive for any psychiatric disorder were 4 times more likely to use 1 or more psychotropic medication, and those who screened positive for ≥2 psychiatric disorders had lower PedsQL scores.


Among 10-year-old children born EP, rates of psychiatric symptoms exceeded normative expectation, and children who screened positive for more than 1 psychiatric disorder were at increased risk of having multiple functional impairments.

[Available on 2020-12-01]

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