Sucking behaviour in infants born preterm and developmental outcomes at primary school age

Mechteld I. Wolthuis-Stigter*, Saakje P. Da Costa, Arend F. Bos, Wim P. Krijnen, Cees P. Van Der Schans, Margreet R. Luinge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

AimTo determine the association between sucking in infants born preterm and developmental outcomes at 5 years.

MethodThirty-four infants were included (mean gestational age 30wks 4d, mean birthweight 1407g). The Neonatal Oral-Motor Assessment Scale was used longitudinally from 37 to 50weeks postmenstrual age. At 5years, we assessed motor skills, intelligence, language, verbal memory, and behavioural problems. Linear regression analyses were performed to test whether aspects of sucking behaviour predicted these developmental outcomes. Where linear regression was not appropriate, Spearman's correlation coefficients were calculated between sucking and developmental outcomes.

ResultsSucking was associated with total motor skills (B [unstandardized correlation coefficient for normally distributed data]=22.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.61 to 38.71), balance (Spearman's =0.64, p

InterpretationAbnormal sucking between 42 weeks and 50 weeks postmenstrual age may reflect abnormal neurological functioning in children born preterm.

What this paper adds

Sucking behaviour before 40 weeks postmenstrual age is not associated with developmental outcomes at 5 years. Persistently abnormal sucking behaviour is associated with balance, IQ, and language at 5 years. Sucking behaviour is not associated with behaviour or memory at 5 years.

This article is commented on by Slattery on pages 784-785 of this issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-877
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Volume59
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2017

Keywords

  • MOTOR-ASSESSMENT SCALE
  • CHILDREN BORN
  • PERFORMANCE
  • PREDICTORS
  • GESTATION
  • LANGUAGE
  • EPIPAGE
  • COHORT
  • BIRTH

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