Continuous Global Early Intervention Program for Preterm Infants Performed by their Families
Rita de Cássia Silveira from Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre in Brazil will develop and test a program for families with preterm infants to follow at home to improve the child’s cognitive, motor and social development. Preterm infants (those born with less than 37 weeks of gestation) can suffer a variety of complications due to incomplete brain, lung and eye development, which can cause long-term problems. They have shown that careful baby massage, alongside the standard skin-to-skin care by the mother, in the hospital after birth can improve the child’s neurological development at two years of age. Here they will perform a randomized study of around 80 mothers of preterm infants, and teach one group to perform the massage technique and instruct them to administer it at home for the child’s first 12 months of life, which will be carefully monitored. The effects on motor and neurodevelopment will be assessed at regular intervals up to 24 months of age and compared to a control group performing only skin-to-skin care.