Enhancing the outcomes of low-birth-weight, premature infants. A multisite, randomized trial. The Infant Health and Development Program

JAMA. 1990 Jun 13;263(22):3035-42. doi: 10.1001/jama.1990.03440220059030.


The Infant Health and Development Program is an eight-site clinical trial designed to evaluate the efficacy of a comprehensive early intervention in reducing the developmental and health problems of low-birth-weight (less than or equal to 2500 g) premature (less than or equal to 37 weeks) infants. Nine hundred eighty-five infants, stratified by site and weight (less than or equal to 2000 g or 2001 to 2500 g), were randomly assigned to receive an educational curriculum focused on child development, as well as family support and pediatric follow-up, or only pediatric follow-up. At corrected age 36 months, the intervention group had significantly higher mean IQ scores than the follow-up group (mean difference in the heavier group was 13.2 and in the lighter group 6.6), significantly fewer maternally reported behavior problems, and a small, but statistically significant, increase in maternally reported minor illnesses for the lighter-birth-weight group only, with no difference in serious health conditions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child Behavior
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Morbidity
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Social Support