Researchers assessed 118 children who had birth weights of 1500g or less and compared them with a control group of 170 born at normal weights to compare their quality of life when it came to physical, emotional, cognitive and social functions.
They discovered that the very low birth-weight children scored consistently lower scores on a scale designed to measure quality of life among pre-school children.
Their parents were also much more likely to say that their child had health issues, with 29 per cent reporting a current problem, compared with 18 per cent in the control group.
In general, children with low birth weight had poorer lung function, appetite and motor function than normal birth-weight children, as well as being more anxious, less positive and less lively.
Premature babies delivered before 28 weeks were much more likely to have a lower quality of life when it came to cognitive functions such as communication.
Longer stays in neonatal intensive care units were also linked to reduced social function. The researchers suggest that this could be related to higher stress levels in early life as no specific link was established between longer stays and reduced physical functioning.
The researchers also discovered that children with very low birth weights scored better on emotional and social quality of life scales if their primary caregiver had a higher level of education.
“Previous studies of very low birth-weight babies have mostly focused on issues such as death, illness, neurodevelopment, growth and cognitive ability” says lead researcher Dr Li-Yin Chien, Associate Professor in the Institute of Community Health Nursing at National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan.
“Our research underlines the importance of monitoring quality of life in children with low birth weights to identify those at risk and intervene early.
“Healthcare professionals need to consider a number of biological and environmental factors as part of their assessment. These include current health problems, age at delivery, length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit and the educational level of the primary caregiver.”
Children ranging from 36 to 53 months were included in the study, supported by Taiwan’s National Science Council. 57 per cent were boys.
252 mothers, 33 fathers and three other caregivers took part in the questionnaire-based study, which was carried out using a Mandarin language version of a quality of life instrument developed in the Netherlands.
The 118 very low birth weight children were less than 1500g (three pounds and five ounces) and were cared for in the neonatal intensive care units of four hospitals in northern Taiwan. The survival rate for babies in this weight range is just over 76 per cent in Taiwan.
Meanwhile, the control group were children who attended preschools and weighed at least 2500g (five pounds and eight ounces) or more at birth.
The mothers of very low birth-weight babies tended to be younger than the mothers in the control group, and were half as likely to be educated to college degree or higher. 45 per cent didn’t work, compared with 17 per cent in the control group.
Annette Whibley | alfa
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences