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Factors Influencing Acceptance Into Part C Early Intervention Among Low-Risk Graduates of Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Miller, Kerry, PhD; Marvin, Christine, PhD; Lambert, Matthew, PhD

doi: 10.1097/IYC.0000000000000130
Original Research/Study

Low-risk infants discharged from a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can include infants whose stay was due to late-term prematurity, suspicion of sepsis, breathing issues, and/or feeding challenges. This study aimed to identify the degree to which sociodemographic and medical factors contribute to low-risk NICU graduates being accepted into Part C early intervention services. Family sociodemographic and child medical factors were examined for 3,826 low-risk graduates of NICUs in 1 Midwestern state. These NICU graduates were compared with the general population of children birth to age 3 years in the state for rates of enrollment in Part C programs. Low-risk NICU graduates had significantly higher early intervention acceptance rates than children in the general population. Neonatal intensive care unit graduates residing in an urban area were more likely to be accepted into early intervention services than those residing in a rural area. The length of NICU stay also predicted acceptance into services; the likelihood of acceptance into early intervention programs increased for each additional day a child stayed in the NICU. Low-risk NICU graduates should be monitored routinely after discharge for developmental delays and the need for referral to Part C early intervention programs any time in the children's first 3 years of life.

Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha (Dr Miller); and Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Drs Marvin and Lambert).

Correspondence: Kerry Miller, PhD, Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute, 985605 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198 (kerry.miller@unmc.edu).

The authors have no financial or conflicts of interest to disclose.

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