Background Early mother-child interaction is one of the factors suggested to have impact on developmental outcome of extremely low gestational age (ELGA) children.
Objective To evaluate associations of mother-child interaction with developmental outcome in ELGA children.
Patients and Methods A prospective study of 48 ELGA children, born before 28 gestational weeks (26.3±1.2 weeks, birth weight 876 g ± 194 g) and 16 term controls. At two years of corrected age the quality of mother-child interaction was assessed using the Erickson Scales and Mutually Responsive Orientation Scales. Developmental outcome was assessed with Griffiths Mental Developmental Scales (GMDS) and Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development - Third Edition (BSID-III).
Results There was no difference in mother-child interaction between ELGA children and term controls at two years of corrected age. However, among ELGA children quality of dyadic relationship, maternal sensitive-responsiveness and supportive presence were associated with developmental outcome measured both with GMDS and BSID-III (adjusted p<0.05). This association remained after adjusting for mother’s educational level. White matter or gray matter abnormalities in MRI at term equivalent age or gr. III–IV intraventricular hemorrhage during neonatal period were not associated with mother-child interaction.
Conclusions This study emphasizes the importance of the quality of mother-child interaction after extremely preterm birth for the development of ELGA child.