Sensory profiles obtained from parental reports correlate with independent assessments of development in very preterm children at 2 years of age

Early Hum Dev. 2013 Dec;89(12):1075-80. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2013.07.027. Epub 2013 Aug 24.


Background: Very preterm (VPT) children have different sensory profiles than term-born controls, but how the sensory profiles in VPT children relate to development has not been reported.

Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between VPT infant sensory profiles and concurrent developmental outcomes at 2 years' corrected age.

Study design: Cohort study.

Subjects: 243 children <30 weeks' gestation.

Outcome measures: Primary caregivers completed the Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile Questionnaire to obtain information on sensory processing at 2 years of age. Independent observers assessed the child's neurodevelopment with either the Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development version 2 (Bayley 2) or the Cognition, Language and Motor Composites of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development version 3 (Bayley 3).

Results: A stronger Low Registration pattern correlated with lower MDI and PDI scores and a stronger Sensation Avoiding pattern correlated with a lower PDI score. A stronger Low Registration pattern correlated with a lower Language Composite score. More frequent visual and oral sensory processing behaviours were associated with higher performance on the MDI and PDI, with more frequent auditory sensory processing behaviours also associated with higher PDI scores. More frequent auditory, touch and oral sensory processing behaviours were associated with improved outcomes on the Language Composite and more frequent auditory, touch and vestibular processing behaviours correlated with improved outcomes on the Cognition Composite. A secondary analysis using a computed MDI score derived from the Bayley 3 scores did not substantially alter any conclusions.

Conclusion(s): Different sensory profile patterns obtained from parental reports of VPT children are associated with various aspects of neurodevelopment at 2 years of age, obtained from independent assessment.

Keywords: Child development; Developmental outcomes; Preterm infants; Sensory profiles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Premature / physiology*
  • Parents
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Sensation / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Victoria