Background We carried out a RCT to evaluate the effect of the Infant Behavioral Assessment and Intervention Program (IBAIP) in 176 VLBW infants. This post discharge intervention program was given until 6 months CA. Positive intervention effects were found on mental outcome at 6 and on motor outcome at 6, 24, and 44 months.
Aim To evaluate the effect of the IBAIP in VLBW infants on cognitive, neuromotor, and behavioral development at 5.5 years CA.
Methods Development was assessed using the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-III-NL), the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC-2), the Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI), a neurological examination, and the Strength and Difficulties questionnaire (SDQ).
Results Sixty-nine VLBW children in the intervention and 67 VLBW children in the control group participated at 5.5 years CA (response rate 77.3%). Some important social and perinatal risk factors were at the disadvantage of the intervention group. Verbal and performance IQ-scores < 85 occurred significantly less often in the intervention group (17.9% versus 33.3%, p=0.041, and 7.5% versus 21.2%, p=0.023, respectively). After adjustment, only the odds ratio for performance IQ was significant: 0.24, 95% CI: 0.06–0.95. Significant intervention effects on mean scores were found on WPPSI-III-NL subtasks block design and vocabulary. After adjustment, mean scores were significantly better in the intervention group on these WPPSI-III-NL subtasks, MABC-2 component aiming and catching and the VMI.
Conclusions The IBAIP leads to improvement in intelligence, ball skills and visual-motor integration at 5.5 years CA.