Adolescents Born Extremely Preterm. Cognitive, Behavioural and Relational Outcomes
The aim of this thesis was to evaluate long-term outcomes in a regional cohort of adolescents born extremely preterm (before the 29th gestational week) and compare them to full-term born controls. Fifty-two prematurely and 54 full-term born individuals were recruited from a follow-up study at 10 years of age. The participant rate was 85 % from the prematurely born group and 89 % from the full-term born group. A multifaceted approach was used and cognition, somatic and mental health, academic achievement, behaviour, social support and attachment were investigated, predominantly with emphasis on the adolescents’ self-perceived experiences. The results showed that the prematurely born performed more poorly than the controls regarding cognitive function and flexibility; they had significantly poorer results when measuring school achievement and less often chose theoretical programmes in secondary upper school; they were shorter, weighed less and experienced more often hearing problems; they reported fewer social contacts and showed a higher frequency of insecure attachment organization. Furthermore the prematurely born showed less risk-taking behaviour and a lesser amount of delinquent and aggressive behaviour. However, no difference was obtained between the two groups regarding satisfaction with their social support; attention problems; future expectations; perceived quality of life; emotional well-being. Conclusively; cognitive problems seem to persist into late adolescence in the group of prematurely born. Furthermore, they seem to describe lesser risk-taking behaviour and appear to be at a greater risk of developing an insecure attachment organization as well as establishing fewer social contacts. Nevertheless, in several aspects such as mental health and self-perceived quality of life, the prematurely born seem to function as well as full-term peers.
Palaestra nedre sal, Paradisgatan 2, Lund
- Philip Hwang (Professor)
- extremely preterm
- social support
- Karin Stjernqvist
- ISBN: 978-91-978718-4-6