NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale: 1-month normative data and variation from birth to 1 month

Livio Provenzi, Karen Olson, Lorenzo Giusti, Rosario Montirosso, Andrea Desantis, Ed Tronick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BackgroundThe Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS) is a standardized method for infant neurobehavioral assessment. Normative values are available for newborns, but the NNNS is not always feasible at birth. Unfortunately, 1-month NNNS normative data are lacking.AimsTo provide normative data for the NNNS examination at 1 month and to assess birth-to-one-month changes in NNNS summary scores.Study designThe NNNS was administered at birth and at 1 month within a longitudinal prospective study design.SubjectsA cohort of 99 clinically healthy full-term infants were recruited from a well-child nursery.Outcome measuresBirth-to-1-month NNNS variations were evaluated and the association of neonatal and sociodemographic variables with the rate of change of NNNS summary scores were investigated.Results and conclusionsNNNS scores from the 10th to the 90th percentile represent a range of normative performance at 1 month. A complex pattern of stability and change emerged comparing NNNS summary scores from birth to 1 month. Orienting, Regulation, and Quality of movements significantly increased, whereas Lethargy and Hypotonicity significantly decreased. Birth-to-1-month changes in NNNS performance suggest improvements in neurobehavioral organization. These data are useful for research purposes and for clinical evaluation of neurobehavioral performance in both healthy and at-risk 1-month-old infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-1109
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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