Section 80
Chapter 79,704

Effects of Family Nurture Intervention in the NICU on Theory of Mind Abilities in Children Born very Preterm: a Randomized Controlled Trial

Firestein, M.R.; Myers, M.M.; Feder, K.J.; Ludwig, R.J.; Welch, M.G.

Children 9(2)


ISSN/ISBN: 2227-9067
PMID: 35205004
Accession: 079703921

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Preterm infants are at risk for socioemotional deficits, neurodevelopmental disorders, and potentially theory of mind (ToM) deficits. Preterm infants enrolled in a randomized controlled trial in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) received Standard Care (SC) or Family Nurture Intervention (FNI). Children (N = 72; median age 61.8 ± 2.6 months; FNI: 35 (55%), SC:2 9 (45%)) completed a ToM task, of whom 64 (54% male; born to White (43.8%), Black (18.7%), and Hispanic (25.0%) mothers) contributed to this analysis. FNI and SC infants born extremely preterm to very preterm differed significantly: 78% (14 of 18) of FNI children passed vs. 30% (3 of 10) SC children (p = 0.01, effect size = 1.06). This large effect size suggests that FNI in the NICU may ameliorate deficits in social-cognitive skills of extreme to very preterm infants by school age.

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