To evaluate the percentage of children born extremely preterm (EP) who screen positive for ≥1 DSM-IV psychiatric disorders, the co-occurrence of and sex-related differences in these classifications, and the functional correlates of psychiatric symptoms.
The Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn (ELGAN) Study is a prospective cohort follow-up of children born <28 weeks' gestation. For 871 10-year-old children, parents completed the Child Symptom Inventory-4 (CSI-4), a child educational/medical history questionnaire, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL).
At age 10 years, ELGANs were more likely to screen positive for a number of psychiatric disorders when compared with normative expectations on the CSI-4, with a few sex-related differences. Fifteen percent of participants screened positive for 1 disorder, 7% for 2, 3% for 3, and 4% for ≥4 psychiatric disorders. Compared with children who did not screen positive for psychiatric disorders, children who screened positive for ≥3 psychiatric disorders were approximately twice as likely to have repeated a grade, have an individualized educational program, have an individual school aide, and to require special remediation classes. Children who screened positive for any psychiatric disorder were 4 times more likely to use 1 or more psychotropic medication, and those who screened positive for ≥2 psychiatric disorders had lower PedsQL scores.
Among 10-year-old children born EP, rates of psychiatric symptoms exceeded normative expectation, and children who screened positive for more than 1 psychiatric disorder were at increased risk of having multiple functional impairments.