Purpose: To develop a neurologic assessment tool, the Premie-Neuro, for very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. INSTRUMENT DEVELOPMENT: Neurologic data were collected during the coursc of the NICU stay. Factor analysis was utilized to determine the strength of relationships between items and to reduce the initial number of test items.
Sample: An NICU cohort of 86 preterm infants was enrolled. Mean birth weight was 1165.8 +/- 446.7 grams, and mean gestational age at birth was 28.8 +/- 3.2 weeks.
Method: Seventy-five neurologic and behavioral characteristics were assessed in week 1 of life and every 2 weeks thereafter until 38 weeks posreonceprional age.
Main outcome variable: Three factors, the Neurologic Scale, the Movement Scale, and the Responsiveness Scale, described the neurologic examination.
Results: Factor reliability was calculated for internal consistency (Cronbach alpha coefficient) and ranged from .73 to .82. The Premie-Neuro can be utilized with VLBW infants to monitor neurologic development during NICU care.