Objective: We conducted a population-based survey of caregivers of all preschoolers at 42 months of age who had been admitted at birth in 1996–1997 to a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit in British Columbia (BC), Canada.
Methods: In this paper, we examine health status (measured by Health Status Classification System [HSCS-PS]), health-related quality of life (HRQL) (measured by Infant and Toddler Quality of Life Questionnaire), and behavioral outcomes (measured by Child Behavior Checklist) of the preschoolers in the sample who were born at 28–32 weeks gestational age (GA) in comparison to those born at <28 weeks GA. In addition, we compare these outcomes to health status, HRQL, and behavioral outcomes of a cohort of healthy full-term infants identified from the primary care practices at two of the hospital sites in BC in 1996–1997.
Results: From the total identified sample of 555 children, the survey was completed for 50 children born at <28 weeks GA, 201 children born at 28–32 weeks GA, and 393 healthy full-term subjects. The developmental outcomes of the preschoolers born at 28–32 weeks GA was very similar to those born at <28 weeks GA. We also found increased parental report of problems related to health status and HRQL among the 28–32 weeks GA group. When compared with the term cohort, the 28–32 weeks GA group had poorer outcomes in all HRQL domains.
Conclusion: This study discusses the importance of continued neurodevelopmental follow-up care of infants born at 28–32 weeks GA in addition to those infants born <28 weeks GA.