Predictive value of the Griffiths assessment in extremely low birthweight infants

J Paediatr Child Health. 1996 Feb;32(1):25-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1996.tb01536.x.


Objective: To assess the relationship between the Griffiths Mental Development Scales at 1 and 3 years and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (S-B) and Beery Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI) at 5 years in extremely low birthweight (ELBW) children.

Methodology: Prospective study of 45 ELBW infants, without severe neurosensory impairment, cared for in a single Level III neonatal intensive care unit.

Results: At 5 years, 36 (80%) children were of average intelligence, 8 (18%) had borderline intelligence and one was mentally retarded. The Griffiths general quotient (GQ) at 1 year had a weak correlation with the 5 year IQ (corr. coeff. = 0.47), with only 17% of children with a GQ < -1 s.d. at 1 year receiving an IQ < -1 s.d. at 5 years. In contrast, the Griffiths GQ at 3 years correlated strongly with 5 year IQ (corr. coeff. = 0.78). Among those children with a 3 year GQ < -1 s.d., 67% had a 5 year IQ < -1 s.d. and all had a 5 year 1Q < 89. The 3 year hearing and speech subscale correlated strongly with the 5 year S-B verbal comprehension factor (corr. coeff. = 0.753) and the 3 year combined eye/hand co-ordination/performance quotient had a moderate correlation with the S-B non-verbal reasoning factor (corr. coeff. = 0.597) and with the Beery VMI (corr. coeff. = 0.49).

Conclusions: The 3 year Griffiths GQ is a good predictor of 5 year S-B IQ in ELBW children and can be used to identify children who may benefit from intervention prior to school entry.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis*
  • Early Intervention, Educational
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight / growth & development*
  • Intelligence Tests*
  • New South Wales
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Socioeconomic Factors