Background: The association between medically assisted reproduction and pregnancy planning on overall developmental outcomes of infants has been studied in relatively few studies. The availability of accurate tools for the early detection of developmental delays is a major issue. The purpose of this study is describing the average neurodevelopment of preterm infants and assessing the association between medically assisted reproduction, pregnancy planning and neurodevelopmental outcomes among Hungarian preterm infants.
Methods: Cross-sectional study of preterm infants with gestational age < 37 weeks (N = 171) who underwent developmental assessment using Bayley-III Screening Test (Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development Screening Test - Third Edition) in five developmental domains (cognitive, receptive and expressive language, fine and gross motor) at 12 months of corrected age. We examined the developmental pattern of infants and the potential associations between medically assisted reproduction, pregnancy planning and Bayley-III Screening Test subscales. Information on the mode of conception and pregnancy planning was obtained through parental anamnesis.
Results: Concerning the risk for developmental delay, the language and motor subscales were the most affected. Examination of the mode of conception and developmental outcomes revealed higher neurodevelopmental skills in infants who were conceived through medically assisted reproduction. Significantly lower cognitive, receptive and expressive language skills were found to be associated with unplanned pregnancies. Multi-way analysis of variance was conducted in order to assess the impact of the mode of conception and pregnancy planning on subscales.
Conclusions: We cannot unambiguously conclude that MAR and pregnancy planning had a solely positive effect on the development of preterm infants at 12 months of corrected age, but our results are vital for the design and implementation of further research.
Keywords: Low birth weight; Medically assisted reproduction; Neurodevelopment; Pregnancy planning; Preterm infants.
© 2022. The Author(s).