Utilization of the Premature Birth Knowledge Scale to Assess Pediatric Provider Knowledge of Neurodevelopmental Outcomes

J Pediatr Health Care. 2017 Jul-Aug;31(4):476-483. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2016.12.006. Epub 2017 Feb 24.


Introduction: Prematurity affects a significant portion (10-12%) of children in the Unites States, with potential for physical, psychological, neurodevelopmental, and behavioral impairments continuing long past the neonatal period. The specific aim of this research was to evaluate pediatric primary and specialty care providers' knowledge and understanding of neurodevelopmental outcomes of children born prematurely.

Methods: Pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) members of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners participated in an online survey using the 33-item Premature Birth Knowledge Scale (PB-KS) to assess their knowledge of current neurodevelopmental outcomes of children born prematurely.

Results: Neither years of practice as a registered nurse nor as a PNP predicted performance on the PB-KS. The mean score on the PB-KS in the PNP sample was 17.8 (possible score = 0-33), with a mean accuracy of 53.9%. Higher scores on the PB-KS were correlated with higher perceived level of preparation to care for children born prematurely.

Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first study to use the PB-KS with pediatric primary and specialty providers. PNPs are uniquely situated to educate and support families facing the long-term consequences of premature birth; to do so they must maintain accurate understanding of current outcomes.

Keywords: Neurodevelopmental outcomes; pediatric nurse practitioners; premature; preterm.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis*
  • Developmental Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / physiopathology
  • Neurologic Examination / statistics & numerical data
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioners* / education
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioners* / standards
  • Prognosis
  • United States