Comparison of active motor items in infants born preterm and infants born full term

Pediatr Phys Ther. 2006 Fall;18(3):197-203. doi: 10.1097/01.pep.0000229969.02895.d6.


Purpose: The study was designed to compare active motor items at term age of infants born very preterm, very low birth weight (VPT-VLBW) and without impairments with infants born full-term (FT) and healthy and to evaluate a method of assessment using video recordings and computer software.

Method: Video recordings of head lag and head righting on pull to sit, head control in sitting, and hip flexion in prone were obtained at term age for 29 infants born VPT-VLBW and 22 infants born FT. Motor items were analyzed using digitizing computer software.

Results: Infants born VPT-VLBW had less head lag on pull to sit than infants born FT, p = 0.005. No other differences were found for the remaining motor items. The method of assessment demonstrated high intrarater reliability (intraclass coefficient correlation (3,1) = 0.77-0.997).

Conclusions: Infants born VPT-VLBW who are at "low risk" performed at term age similarly to healthy infants born FT on four active motor items. The reliability of the measurement method supports the method's further development.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / physiology*
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome