Objective: To determine in a systematic review, whether interventions for infant development that involve parents, improve neurodevelopment at 12 months corrected age or older.
Study design: Randomized trials were identified where an infant intervention was aimed to improve development and involved parents of preterms; and long-term neurodevelopment using standardized tests at 12 months (or longer) was reported.
Result: Identified studies (n=25) used a variety of interventions including parent education, infant stimulation, home visits or individualized developmental care. Meta-analysis at 12 months (N=2198 infants) found significantly higher mental (N=2198) and physical (N=1319) performance scores favoring the intervention group. At 24 months, the mental (N=1490) performance scores were improved, but physical (N=1025) performance scores were not statistically significant. The improvement in neurodevelopmental outcome was not sustained at 36 months (N=961) and 5 years (N=1017).
Conclusion: Positive clinically meaningful effects (>5 points) are seen to an age of 36 months, but are no longer present at 5 years.