Background The Parent Report of Children’s Abilities-Revised (PARCA-R) assesses cognitive and language development at 24 months. It was validated against the Mental Development Index of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (BSID II), but this has now been superseded by BSID III.
Objective To compare the PARCA-R against the BSID III.
Methods PARCA-R and BSID III assessments scheduled at 24 months of age (corrected for prematurity) were completed in 204 infants with suspected or proven neonatal sepsis in the International Neonatal Immunotherapy Study. Associations between the scales were measured and the predictive accuracy of the PARCA-R for moderate cognitive delay and moderate language delay was assessed using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis.
Results Median birthweight was 911 g, median gestational age at birth was 27 weeks and 100 (49.0%) were girls. 4.4% and 8.4% met standard BSID III criteria for cognitive delay and language delay, respectively. These rates increased to 19.6% and 12.6% when an independent sample of normal term infants were used as the reference group suggesting standard BSID III reference norms may tend to underestimate delay. The Spearman correlation between PARCA-R and BSID scales were 0.43 for cognition and 0.71 for language. The PARCA-R successfully predicted cases of cognitive delay and language delay with the area under the ROC curves ranging from 0.83 to 0.97 depending on reference norms used.
Conclusions The results support the PARCA-R as a practical tool for the identification of appreciable cognitive and language delay at 24 months among critically ill premature and extremely low birthweight neonates.