For a study, researchers sought to determine the 13-year outcomes of a randomized controlled trial of preventive care (VIBeS Plus) for very preterm newborns and their parents and to see if the probable impacts of the intervention varied by family socioeconomic risk.
Families were randomly assigned to one of two groups: intervention (n=61) or routine care (n=59). Over the infants’ first year, psychologists and physiotherapists conducted the intervention at home, concentrating on newborn development and parental mental health. Cognitive, motor, and behavioral results and parental mental health were evaluated at 13 years of corrected age. The primary estimands were mean differences across groups, calculated using multiple imputed regression models.
About 81 surviving children were followed up on (69%). Regardless of social risk level, there was limited evidence of intervention advantages for IQ, attention, executive functioning, working memory, and academic ability. Mean differences in teenage cognitive outcomes varied from -2.0 units (95% CI, -9.9 to 5.9) in favor of conventional therapy to 5.1 units (95% CI, -2.3 to 12.5) in favor of the intervention. Only for adolescent motor outcomes was a group-by-social risk interaction found, with mean differences favoring the intervention for those at higher social risk (balance, 4.9; 95% CI, 1.3-8.5; total motor, 3.2; 95% CI, 0.3-6.2), but not for those at lower social risk (balance, -0.3; 95% CI, -2.4 to 1.9; total motor, 0.03; 95% CI, -1.9 to 2.0). Mean differences in adolescent behavior and parental mental health ranged from -6.6 (95% CI -13.8, 0.5) to -0.2 (95% CI, -1.9 to 1.4), and −1.8 (95% CI, −4.1 to 0.6) to −1.7 (95% CI, −4.3 to 1.0), respectively, demonstrating a tendency for fewer symptoms in the intervention group.
The intervention’s benefits for adolescent behavior were maintained, with superior motor results reported in individuals from socially disadvantaged homes. It is necessary to replicate the study using bigger samples, additional informant accounts, and an assessment of quality of life-related outcomes.