Language outcomes at 36 months in prematurely born children is associated with the quality of developmental care in NICUs

R. Montirosso, L. Giusti, A. Del Prete, R. Zanini, R. Bellù, R. Borgatti, Fabio Mosca, Odoardo Picciolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective:The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the quality levels of NICU developmental care (DC) and language skills at 36 months in very preterm (VPT) children.Study Design:Language skills of 78 VPT children from 19 NICUs and 90 full-term controls was assessed using a standardized language test. We compared children' language task performance by splitting NICUs into units with high-and low-quality of DC according to two main factors: (1) infant centered care (ICC), and (2) infant pain management (IPM).Results:VPT children from low-care units with respect to ICC obtained lower scores in sentence comprehension, compared to children from high-care units. No differences were found between preterm children from high-quality ICC NICUs and full-term children.Conclusions:Findings suggest that higher quality of DC related to infant centered care can mitigate delays in language skills at 36 months in children born VPT. © 2016 Nature America, Inc., part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-774
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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