Laval University, Canada
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Psychiatry
Background: The long-term effects of the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) intervention on the intellectual and attentional functioning of young adults (19-21 years old) born with low birth weight are unknown. Methods: During initial recruitment, 746 low birth weight infants (≤2000 g) were randomly assigned at birth a one of two interventions; the KMC or traditional care (TC). Among this initial sample, 300 (160 KMC; 140 TC) participants completed cognitive tests at adulthood (19 to 21 years after recruitment) measuring intellectual functioning (IQ) as well as sustained and divided attention and attentional flexibility. Results from the cognitive tests at adulthood were analyzed according to the intervention group (KMC or TC) and the neurological status at six months (normal or abnormal). Findings: Both KMC and TC groups had similar sociodemographic and neonatal characteristics. The results showed that after controlling for sex and growth delay at birth, there was an interaction between the intervention group and the neurological status indicating that participants with a neurological vulnerability at six months had higher scores on the IQ and sustained attention measures at adulthood if they had received KMC. Furthermore, performance on the intellectual and sustained attention measures was similar for KMC/neurologically abnormal group and the KMC or TC neurologically normal groups. Interpretation: Results from the present study suggest that KMC is an effective treatment to promote cognitive development in low birth weight infants with neurological vulnerabilities and that its benefits on cognitive functioning can still be observed at adulthood.
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