The Global School Adaptation score: a new neurodevelopmental assessment tool for very preterm children at five years of age

J Pediatr. 2013 Aug;163(2):460-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.01.052. Epub 2013 Feb 28.


Objective: To determine the usefulness of a neurodevelopmental assessment tool consisting of a questionnaire administered to teachers to measure the Global School Adaptation (GSA) scores of very preterm children at the age of 5 years.

Study design: A sample of 445 very preterm children (<35 weeks of gestation) was assessed at 5 years of age using GSA and IQ scores. According to the consistency between the scores, children were determined to be well classified, intermediately classified, or misclassified. The differences between groups were assessed through univariate and multivariate logistic regression.

Results: The GSA score was highly or intermediately consistent with the IQ score for 89.2% of the children, and 10.8% were considered misclassified. Children with a higher GSA than IQ score had more autonomy and self-confidence (P < .01), and those with a lower GSA than IQ score had more behavioral problems (P < .01). Analysis by logistic regression showed that sex and gestational age significantly affected the consistency between the 2 scores. Thus, girls were less likely to have a lower GSA than IQ score (aOR = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.24-0.84; P = .01), and a lower gestational age significantly increased the likelihood of having a higher GSA than IQ score (for children born between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation: aOR = 2.70; 95% CI: 1.23-5.92; P = .01).

Conclusions: The GSA score is a simple, inexpensive, and reliable screening tool for assessing neurodevelopment in very preterm children at 5 years of age.

Keywords: GA; GSA; Gestational age; Global School Adaptation; LIFT; Loire Infant Follow-up Team; WPPSI; Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Schools
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*