Privat-docent thesis
Open access

Consequences of preterm birth at school age: challenges and pathways to resilience

Number of pages38
Defense date2023-03-06

A considerable effort is being made to understand and prevent the short- and long-term consequences of preterm birth. However, data indicate that advances in neonatal care and increased survival have not been followed by equivalent gains in neurodevelopmental outcomes. Moreover, difficulties tend to increase over the course of children's lives, with a peak in difficulties at school age. Preterm birth not only impacts general intelligence but also executive functions and attention, which are core competencies to face the challenges of school. Socio-emotional and communication competencies and behavior are also affected, with high rates of attention deficit hyperactivity and autism spectrum disorders among these children, as well as anxiety and relational problems. Taken together, these difficulties have an important impact on academic achievements and later employment. Although there are a large number of studies on early interventions to reduce the long-term effects of prematurity, school-age interventions are still rare. To our knowledge, there is currently no systematic review that allows to synthesize the existence of such interventions and evaluate their effectiveness. We conducted both a narrative review of the literature on neurodevelopmental profile at school age after preterm birth and a qualitative systematic review on interventions for preterm school-age children and showed that very few studies with a robust design have been published so far. Yet, if based on a thorough knowledge of the developmental profile of children born prematurely, school-age interventions have the potential to target concrete difficulties experienced by this population. In turn, this might significantly help them to adapt to their immediate environment and undergo successful academic and socio-emotional experiences with a lifelong impact not only related to their integration into society and its economic aspects, but also on their global wellbeing.

  • Prématurité
  • Intervention
  • Enfants
  • Adolescents
  • Fonctions ex
Citation (ISO format)
HA-VINH LEUCHTER, Russia. Consequences of preterm birth at school age: challenges and pathways to resilience. 2023. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:168524
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