University of Oulu

Heikkinen, M, Kallankari, H, Partanen, L, Korkalainen, N, Kaukola, T, Yliherva, A. Children born before 32 weeks of gestation displayed impaired reading fluency, comprehension and spelling skills at 9 years of age. Acta Paediatr. 2021; 110: 521– 527. https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.15456

Children born before 32 weeks of gestation displayed impaired reading fluency, comprehension and spelling skills at 9 years of age

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Author: Heikkinen, Minna1; Kallankari, Hanna2,3; Partanen, Lea1;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Humanities, Child Language Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2PEDEGO Research Unit and Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Child Neurology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Neonatology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
5Logopedics, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.9 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2021042211431
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-07-01
Description:

Abstract

Aim: Our aim was to study whether prematurity, associated with prenatal and neonatal risk factors, affects specific literacy skills among school children born at a very low gestational age (VLGA) of <32 weeks.

Methods: The study group comprised 76 prospectively followed VLGA children born between November 1998 and November 2002 at Oulu University Hospital, Finland, and 51 term controls. The median gestational age of the VLGA children was 29.0 (24.1‐31.9) weeks. All children were examined at a median age of 8.9 (8.0‐9.9) years in Oulu between November 2007 and November 2011. Reading fluency, comprehension and spelling skills were evaluated using standardised tests for Finnish‐speaking children.

Results: Very low gestational age children had significantly poorer test results in reading comprehension (median 6.9 vs 8.3, P = .014) and spelling (median 35.7 vs 38.0, P = .013) than term children. Furthermore, VLGA children more often performed below the 10th percentile normal values in spelling (P = .012) compared with term controls. Foetal growth restriction was associated with lower scoring in reading fluency (P = .023) and spelling (P = .004) among VLGA children.

Conclusion: Very low gestational age school children performed poorer in reading comprehension and spelling than term children. In addition, poor foetal growth in VLGA children was associated with literacy problems.

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Series: Acta pædiatrica
ISSN: 0803-5253
ISSN-E: 1651-2227
ISSN-L: 0803-5253
Volume: 110
Issue: 2
Pages: 521 - 527
DOI: 10.1111/apa.15456
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1111/apa.15456
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 616 Other humanities
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Subjects:
Funding: This study was supported by the Alma and K.A Snellman Foundation (MH, HK) and the Tyyni Tani Foundation (MH).
Copyright information: © 2020 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Heikkinen, M, Kallankari, H, Partanen, L, Korkalainen, N, Kaukola, T, Yliherva, A. Children born before 32 weeks of gestation displayed impaired reading fluency, comprehension and spelling skills at 9 years of age. Acta Paediatr. 2021; 110: 521– 527, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.15456. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.