Longitudinal study: Following Preterm Infants in Time

Preterm Infants in Time (PIT) and Parental Beliefs

Learning to walk is a natural challenge faced by all infants. The way and speed in which infants reach the motor milestone of walking is characterized by inter- and intra-individual variability. Infants born premature (nearly 8% of the Dutch population) are at increased risk for delayed or deviant motor functioning making timely recognition of atypical motor development important. On the other hand, unnecessary interventions and parental concern for children to reach this milestone need to be avoided. This longitudinal study examines individual pathways of motor development (home-videos) and contextual factors (e.g., parental beliefs) with the aim to enhance future interventions.

What are we doing?

We want to recruit 100 infants with a gestational age of 32 weeks or less or infants with a very low birhtweight of <1500 gr. The infants have all been submitted in the Neonatal Care Unit of the Wilhelmina Pediatric Hospital in Utrecht and follow the regular neonatal follow-up program. Parents are asked for participating the study when the child is a term corrected age (CA).

All infants are assessed on their gross motor development using the AIMS. Parents are asked to film their child according to the AIMS home-video method 6 times at the ages of 3.5, 5.5, 7.5, 9.5, 12.5, 15.5 and 17.5 months corrected age). Before parents start filming at 3.5 months they are asked to fill out a questionnaire concerning their parental beliefs about motor development. When parents film their child for the last time, they are asked to fill out this questionnaire again At the age of 5.5 months parents are asked to fill out a questionnaire about their motor habits (MOHAB).

The individual trajectories will be analyzed with a linear mixed growth model.

This study started in May 2016 and is expected to finish in the end of 2019.

The Pilot Longitudinal trajectories team consists of the following persons:

  1. Imke van Maren-Suir MSc, PhD student
  2. Marike Boonzaaijer MSc, PhD student
  3. Students of the master programme in Pediatric physiotherapy and bachelor Physiotherapy

Advisory panel:

  1. Marian Jongmans, Professor University Utrecht
  2. Linda de Vries, Professor Neonatology Wilhelmina Pediatric Hospital
  3. Janjaap van der Net PhD, Senior Researcher Child and Movement Centre at the Wilhelmina Pediatric Hospital
  4. Jacqueline Nuysink PhD, Senior Researcher at the University of Utrecht