Prevalence of motor-skill impairment in preterm children who do not develop cerebral palsy: a systematic review

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Williams, Jacqueline, Lee, Katherine and Anderson, Peter (2010) Prevalence of motor-skill impairment in preterm children who do not develop cerebral palsy: a systematic review. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 52 (3). pp. 232-237. ISSN 0012-1622 (print) 1469-8749 (online)


Aim Motor skill impairment is a common negative outcome in children born preterm who do not develop cerebral palsy (CP). This study aimed to conduct a systematic review of current data to provide an accurate estimate of the prevalence of non-CP motor impairment in preterm children at school age. Method We searched the Medline, PubMed, and PsycInfo databases and relevant journals to identify all studies published post-1990 that reported the prevalence of motor impairment in school-aged children born preterm (<37wks’ gestation) using standardised motor assessment batteries. We applied a range of exclusionary criteria, with 11 studies included in the final analyses. We identified two levels of motor impairment commonly reported – mild–moderate and moderate – and conducted a random effects meta-analysis to produce a prevalence estimate for each. Results The pooled estimate for mild–moderate impairment in preterm children was 40.5/100. and for moderate motor impairment the estimate was 19.0/100. There was also a trend for lower motor impairment levels in samples born before 1990 compared with those born after 1990. Interpretation Children born preterm are at increased risk of motor impairment, with prevalence three to four times greater than in the general population. This highlights the need for improved surveillance and intervention strategies in this group of children.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2009.03544.x
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1116 Medical Physiology
Historical > SEO Classification > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords ResPubID20104, ResPubID21964, motor-skill, cerebral palsy, motor impairment, children
Citations in Scopus 187 - View on Scopus
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