University of Oulu

Kari Anne I. Evensen, Tordis Ustad, Marjaana Tikanmäki, Peija Haaramo, Eero Kajantie, Long-term motor outcomes of very preterm and/or very low birth weight individuals without cerebral palsy: A review of the current evidence, Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, Volume 25, Issue 3, 2020, 101116, ISSN 1744-165X,

Long-term motor outcomes of very preterm and/or very low birth weight individuals without cerebral palsy : a review of the current evidence

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Author: Evensen, Kari Anne I.1,2,3,4; Ustad, Tordis1,5; Tikanmäki, Marjaana6,7;
Organizations: 1Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
2Department of Public Health and Nursing, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
3Unit for Physiotherapy Services, Trondheim Municipality, Trondheim, Norway
4Department of Physiotherapy, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
5Department of Clinical Services, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
6PEDEGO Research Unit, MRC Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Public Health Promotion Unit, Helsinki, Oulu, Finland
8Children's Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-09-15


We reviewed literature on long-term motor outcomes of individuals aged five years or older born very preterm (VP: ≤32 weeks of gestation) or with very low birth weight (VLBW: ≤1500g), without cerebral palsy (CP). PubMed produced 2827 articles, whereof 38 were eligible. Assessed by standardised and norm-based motor tests, the Movement Assessment Battery for Children being the most widely used, VP/VLBW individuals showed poorer motor skills compared with term-born controls with differences of approximately 1 SD in magnitude. Some studies assessed subdomains and differences were present in fine motor/manual dexterity, ball skills and gross motor/balance. Prevalence of motor problems varied largely from 8–37% in studies with cut-off at the 5th percentile or −1.5 SD to 12–71% in studies with cut-off at the 15th percentile or −1 SD. This review shows that the degree of motor impairments continues to be substantial among VP/VLBW individuals who do not develop CP.

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Series: Seminars in fetal and neonatal medicine
ISSN: 1744-165X
ISSN-E: 1878-0946
ISSN-L: 1744-165X
Volume: 25
Issue: 3
Article number: 101116
DOI: 10.1016/j.siny.2020.101116
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: The work of Drs. Evensen, Tikanmäki, Haaramo and Kajantie was supported by funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program RECAP Preterm Project (grant no. 733280). The work of Dr. Ustad was supported by grant from The Liaison Committee for Education, Research and Innovation in Central Norway. Dr. Evensen has received grant from the Liaison Committee of St. Olavs Hospital and NTNU, Dr. Haaramo from Norface DIAL Premlife project and Dr. Kajantie from Academy of Finland (grant no. 315690), Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation and Foundation for Pediatric Research, Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, Juho Vainio Foundation, Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, Novo Nordisk Foundation and Finnish Diabetes Research Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (