Developmental intervention program for high-risk premature infants: effects on development and parent-infant interactions

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1988 Apr;9(2):73-8.


Developmental follow-up studies have documented that low birth weight infants are at high risk for mental and physical disabilities, despite recent advances in neonatal intensive care. Moreover, parent-infant bonding is hampered by the barriers created by technical equipment. This study evaluated a program of hospital and home-based developmental interventions designed to enhance the development of high-risk, preterm infants and the quality of communication between infants and their caregivers. Treatment and contrast groups consisted of 41 premature infants weighing less than 1800 g at birth. Treatment took a preventive approach, consisting of daily multimodal interventions in-hospital and twice-monthly interventions by child development specialists in the child's home, through 12 months adjusted age. Infants in the contrast group received traditional, remedially oriented care. The Bayley Scales of Infant Development were used to measure mental and psychomotor development, and the Greenspan-Lieberman Observations System (GLOS) was used to analyze the behavioral characteristics of infant-caregiver interactions. Developmental interventions had positive, significant effects on mental development and on the quality of caregiver-infant interactions. Changes in mental development were not independent of changes in the GLOS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cognition
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Developmental Disabilities / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / psychology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / psychology*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Risk Factors