Psychosocial and medical adversity associated with neonatal neurobehavior in infants born before 30 weeks gestation.
DOI: 10.1038/s41390-019-0607-1; PMCID: PMC7082182
BACKGROUND: Psychosocial adversity escalates medical risk for poor outcomes in infants bornanxiety, depression, and adverse medical and socioenvironmental conditions would be associated with less optimal neonatal neurobehavior at neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) discharge.
METHODS: We studied 665 infants at 9 university NICUs. Risk indices of socioenvironmental, maternal, and neonatal medical factors were obtained from standardized, structured maternal interviews and medical record reviews. Brain injuries were classified by consensus ultrasonogram readings. NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS) exams were conducted at NICU discharge.
RESULTS: On the NNNS, generalized estimating equations indicated infants of mothers with prenatal anxiety had less optimal attention, and those born to mothers with prenatal depression had increased lethargy. Maternal medical complications predicted suboptimal reflexes. Socioenvironmental risk predicted lower self-regulation and movement quality. Infants with more severe neonatal medical complications had lower attention, increased lethargy, and suboptimal reflexes.
CONCLUSIONS: Combined information from the observed associations among adverse prenatal maternal medical and psychosocial conditions, and neonatal complications may assist in the early identification of infants at elevated neurobehavioral risk.
Hofheimer, J. A., Smith, L. M., McGowan, E. C., O'Shea, T., Carter, B. S., Neal, C. R., Helderman, J. B., Pastyrnak, S. L., Soliman, A., Dansereau, L. M., DellaGrotta, S. A., Lester, B. M. Psychosocial and medical adversity associated with neonatal neurobehavior in infants born before 30 weeks gestation. Pediatric research 87, 721-729 (2020).