Neonatal neurobehavioral examinations describe newborn’s behavioural repertoire and observable responses to environmental stimulus.
This study aimed to evaluate the neurobehavioral of healthy late preterm and full-term infants using Neonatal Neurobehavioral Assessment Preterm Infant (NAPI). We hypothesised that NAPI can detect neurobehavioral differences between healthy late preterm and full-term infant.
In this prospective cross-sectional study, infants born with 36 weeks gestational age (GA) (6 days) and 37 weeks GA (6 days) in a tertiary health care institution of São Paulo state, Brazil were assessed 24 h after birth, using NAPI. Newborns with malformations, genetics syndromes, neurological impairment, infections and ventilation assistance were excluded. NAPI was conducted only by one expert examiner, in the same place, and always one hour before feeding. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee and all mothers assigned the informed consent form. For the preliminary analysis was considered p ≤ 0,05.
Twenty babies (age: 36,5 ± 0,6; birth weight: 2,764 ± 558,16; gender: 70% male and 30% female) had the scores compared by age (36/37 weeks GA) not showing significantly difference: scarf sign (p = 0,685), motor and vigour development (p = 0,758), popliteal angle (p = 0,712), alertness and orientation (p = 0,939), irritability (0,816), cry quality (p = 0,669) and percent asleep (p = 0,248). In this preliminary study we verified that neurobehavioral performances are similar, suggesting that for this population NAPI is not sensitive to detect subtle changes. However, more patients need to be included to confirm our findings.