Randomized trial of a parenting intervention for very preterm infants: outcome at 2 years

J Pediatr. 2009 Oct;155(4):488-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.04.013.


Objectives: To determine the efficacy of a neonatal parenting intervention for improving development in very preterm infants.

Study design: A cluster-randomized, controlled trial with a cross-over design and washout period was conducted in 6 neonatal centers. Two hundred thirty-three babies <32 weeks' gestation were recruited (intervention = 112; control = 121). Intervention families received weekly Parent Baby Interaction Programme (PBIP) sessions during neonatal intensive care unit admission and up to 6 weeks after discharge. Control families received standard care. All 195 infants remaining in the study at 24 months' corrected age were assessed by psychologists blinded to group allocation.

Results: There was no significant difference in Mental Development Index (-0.9 points; 95% CI, -5.0, 3.2) or Psychomotor Development Index (2.5; -3.3, 8.4) scores between the intervention and control groups and no significant effect of intervention on Mental Development Index or Psychomotor Development Index scores for subgroups dichotomized by gestational age (<28 weeks/> or =28 weeks), parity (1st/other child) or mother's cohabiting status (supported/unsupported).

Conclusions: There was no effect of PBIP on infant development at 2 years' corrected age. Parenting interventions may be better delivered after discharge or targeted for preterm infants with high biological and social risk.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Care*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting*
  • Parents / education*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Treatment Outcome