Background: With regard to the prognosis of preterm children, neuropsychological deficits (e.g. visuomotor function) are a research focus of follow-up studies.
Study design: Cross-sectional study at 7 years of age, control group.
Subjects: 92 preterm children without marked neurological impairment (birth weight 1679 (710-2500) g; 99 control subjects, similar in age, sex and social status
Methods: Tests for motor-free visual perception (MVPT), visuomotor integration (VMI), fine motor skills (MLS), gross motor corrdination (KTK), language (PET)
Results: Comparing the total groups of pre- and fullterm children, deficits in perceptional (T=-1.8, p<.05), visuomotor (T=-4.1, p<.001), fine motor (Chi2= 4.6; p<.05) and language skills(T=-5.5, p<.001) were detected in the preterms. Whereas ELBW (n=10,<1000g) and VLBW children (n=25, 1001-1500 g) showed functional deficits in all tests, LBW (n=57, >1500 g) children were subnormal only in visuomotor(T=-2.2, p>.05) and language (T=-4.2, p<.001) abilities.
Conclusions: To detect subtle neuropsychological deficits in preterm children, it is important to assess different aspects of motor function and speech development.
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Graf, R., Peter, J., Pietz, J. et al. Visual Perception, Fine-; Gross- and Visuomotor Abilities in 92 Preterm and 99 Fullterm Children at School Age 94. Pediatr Res 40, 530 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1203/00006450-199609000-00117