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PO-0825 Do Young Adults Born With Very Low Birth Weight Have Poor Emotional, Behavioural And Social Function?
  1. KAI Evensen1,
  2. IM Husby2,
  3. KM Stray3,
  4. MS Indredavik2,
  5. AM Brubakk2,
  6. J Skranes2
  1. 1Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  2. 2Laboratory Medicine Children’s and Women’s Health, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  3. 3Division of Surgery, Akershus University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

Abstract

Objective To study emotional and behavioural problems, relations to friends and substance use in young adults born with very low birth weight (VLBW: ≤1500 g) compared to controls.

Design/methods A hospital-based follow-up study of 34 VLBW young adults and 35 term-born controls at 23 years of age. Data was collected using the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment – Adult Self-Report (ASR) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).

Results The ASR total problems score was 38.6 (21.7) in the VBLW group compared with 29.0 (18.7) in the control group (p = 0.08). The VLBW group had higher scores for anxious/depressed (p = 0.04), attention problems (p = 0.03), aggressive behaviour (p = 0.05), internalising problems (p = 0.02) and critical items (p = 0.02). BDI scores did not differ between the groups. The VLBW group reported lower mean substance use (p = 0.04), mainly due to less use of alcohol. Furthermore, they reported having fewer friends, less closeness to friends, and less time spent with friends compared with controls (p = 0.05). When excluding 11 participants with cerebral palsy and/or low intelligence quotient (<2 SD of mean in the control group), the scores for critical items, anxious/depressed and substance use were essentially the same (p-values: 0.04–0.07).

Conclusion The VLBW group reported more emotional problems than controls, and also a higher level of clinically relevant psychiatric symptoms. The findings may indicate that anxiety symptoms and a cautious lifestyle with regard to substance use are characteristics of VLBW individuals in young adulthood.

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