Effects of the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) at age 8 years: preliminary data

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2010 Mar;49(3):258-70. doi: 10.1177/0009922809335668. Epub 2009 May 15.


The current study reports the effects of NIDCAP (Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program) at 8 years of age for a randomized controlled trial of 38 very early born (< or =29 weeks postmenstrual age), high-risk preterm infants. It was hypothesized that the experimental group at school age in comparison with the control group would perform significantly better neuropsychologically and neuroelectrophysiologically. Twenty-two (11 control, 11 experimental) children of the original 38 (18 control, 20 experimental) participants were studied at school age with a detailed neuropsychological battery and with EEG spectral coherence measures. Results indicated significantly better right hemisphere and frontal lobe function in the experimental group than the control group, both neuropsychologically and neurophysiologically. Neurobehavioral and physiological results in the newborn period successfully predicted the beneficial brain function effects at age 8 years. Results support the conclusion that the NIDCAP intervention has lasting effects into school age.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / physiology*
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Gestational Age
  • Health Plan Implementation / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / growth & development*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods*
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome