Predicting severe motor impairment in preterm children at age 5 years

Arch Dis Child. 2015 Aug;100(8):748-53. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2014-307695. Epub 2015 Mar 17.


Objective: To determine whether the ability to predict severe motor impairment at age 5 years improves between birth and 18 months.

Design: Ancillary study of the Caffeine for Apnea of Prematurity Trial.

Setting and patients: International cohort of very low birth weight children who were assessed sequentially from birth to 5 years.

Outcome measures: Severe motor impairment was defined as a score <5th percentile on the Movement Assessment Battery of Children (MABC), or inability to complete the MABC because of cerebral palsy. Multivariable logistic regression cumulative risk models used four sets of predictor variables: early neonatal risk factors, risk factors at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age, risk factors at a corrected age of 18 months, and sociodemographic variables. A receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) was generated for each model, and the four ROC curves were compared to determine if the addition of the new set of predictors significantly increased the area under the curve (AUC).

Results: Of 1469 children, 291 (19.8%) had a severe motor impairment at 5 years. The AUC increased from 0.650 soon after birth, to 0.718 (p<0.001) at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age, and to 0.797 at 18 months (p<0.001). Sociodemographic variables did not significantly improve the AUC (AUC=0.806; p=0.07).

Conclusions: Prediction of severe motor impairment at 5 years of age using a cumulative risk model improves significantly from birth to 18 months of age in children with birth weights between 500 g and 1250 g.

Trial registration number: number NCT00182312.

Keywords: Neonatology; Neurodevelopment; Outcomes research.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Birth Weight
  • Cerebral Palsy / etiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Male
  • Movement Disorders / etiology*
  • ROC Curve
  • Risk Factors

Associated data