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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2012 Jul;51(7):638-44. doi: 10.1177/0009922812439244. Epub 2012 Mar 7.

Language development survey provides a useful screening tool for language delay in preterm infants.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia PA 19140, USA.


Developmental language disorder has been reported in 3% to 10% of term infants and 30% of preterm infants (<34 weeks gestation). Screening for language delay in preterm infants can be costly and time-consuming. The objective of this study was to assess the expressive language development of preterm infants using the Language Development Survey (LDS). A total of 178 preterm infants born at 23 to 34 weeks between 2006 and 2008 were enrolled. The LDS was completed by parents between 22 and 26 months at or shortly before 2-year neurodevelopmental assessment using the Bayley III Scale. A total of 26% of former preterm patients had language delay, using LDS. Significant correlations were observed between LDS results and Bayley III scores. Male gender and public health insurance were the most important risk factors for language delay in this cohort. Expressive language delay was present in 26% of preterm infants. LDS is a suitable and inexpensive screening tool for assessing language delay in preterm infants.

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