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Assessment of Life After Prematurity in 9- to 10- Year-Old Children

Kelly, Michelle M. PhD, RN, CRNP

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: January/February 2014 - Volume 39 - Issue 1 - p 26–32
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e3182a8de8e
Feature: CE Connection

Purpose: To determine the extent to which alterations in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and special healthcare needs are experienced by children born prematurely, compared to those born at term.

Study Design and Methods: A descriptive comparative design was utilized. A total of 96 children (preterm N = 47, term N = 49) completed the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales 8- to 12-year-old self-report version. Parents of both groups of children completed the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales parent-proxy version, the Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Screener, and a demographic data form.

Results: Special healthcare needs were experienced by more than one half of the premature children evaluated. Mean HRQOL scores were significantly different between the children born prematurely and their peers born at term. Parents of both groups reported higher HRQOL scores than their children self-reported.

Clinical Nursing Implications: Given the sustained high rate of premature birth, understanding of current health status of children born prematurely is critical for maternal–child nurses. Advocacy and coordination of care are important to improve the healthcare provided to families of children born prematurely. Future nursing research should incorporate assessment of special healthcare needs and HRQOL of children.

Do the complications of prematurity last into a child's school age years?

Michelle M. Kelly PhD, RN, CRNP is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Villanova University, College of Nursing, Villanova, PA. She is Pediatric and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. She can be reached via e-mail at

For 147 additional continuing nursing education articles on pediatric topics, go to

The author has declared no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.