Background Adaptive behaviour is the behaviour necessary for an individual to function safely and appropriately in daily life, both at a personal and social level. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) has been used to describe an individual’s adaptive behaviour as reported by caregivers.
Objective To compare skills of communication, daily living and socialisation as well as the total behaviour score in very low birth weight (VLBW) children with a control group at ten years of age.
Design/methods In this follow-up study, 39 children with birth weight below 1500 grams, including 10 children with cerebral palsy (CP), and 31 term born control children were evaluated by VABS at ten years of age. The informants were parents, mostly mothers. In VABS, adaptive behaviour is expressed as total adaptive behavior composite score based on the three subscales: Communication, daily living skills and socialisation.
Results The mean total adaptive behaviour composite score in the VLBW group was 85.7 (SD 16.8) compared with 105.5 (SD 17.5) in the control group (p<0.001). All three subscales; communication, daily living skills and socialisation were significantly lower in the VLBW group than in the control group. Excluding children with CP, the total adaptive behavior composite score was 90.6 (SD 14.5) in the VLBW, still significantly lower than in the control group (p=0.001).
Conclusions The findings of this study indicate that VLBW children as a group have more adaptation challenges than their peers born at term. This was still the case when children with CP were excluded.