University of Oulu

Yanyan Ni, Marina Mendonça, Nicole Baumann, Robert Eves, Eero Kajantie, Petteri Hovi, Marjaana Tikanmäki, Katri Räikkönen, Kati Heinonen, Marit S. Indredavik, Kari-Anne I. Evensen, Samantha Johnson, Neil Marlow, Dieter Wolke; Social Functioning in Adults Born Very Preterm: Individual Participant Meta-analysis. Pediatrics November 2021; 148 (5): e2021051986. 10.1542/peds.2021-051986

Social functioning in adults born very preterm : individual participant meta-analysis

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Author: Ni, Yanyan1,2; Mendonça, Marina1; Baumann, Nicole1;
Organizations: 1Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
2EGA Institute for Women's Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom
3Department of Chronic Disease Prevention, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
4Research Unit for Pediatrics, Pediatric Neurology, Pediatric Surgery, Child Psychiatry, Dermatology, Clinical Genetics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Otorhinolaryngology and Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
6Children’s Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital and gDepartment of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
7Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
8Programs in Psychology and Comparative Social Policy and Welfare, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
9Unit for Physiotherapy Services, Trondheim Municipality, Trondheim, Norway
10Department of (Continued) Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
11Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, George Davies Centre, Leicester, United Kingdom
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-11-02


Context: There is a lack of research on individual perceptions of social experiences and social relationships among very preterm (VP) adults compared with term-born peers.

Objective: To investigate self-perceived social functioning in adults born VP (<32 weeks’ gestation) and/or with very low birth weight (VLBW) (<1500g) compared with term-born adults (≥37 weeks’ gestation) using an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis.

Data sources: Two international consortia: Research on European Children and Adults born Preterm and Adults Born Preterm International Collaboration.

Study selection: Cohorts with outcomes assessed by using the Adult Self-Report Adaptive Functioning scales (friends, spouse/partner, family, job, and education) in both groups.

Data extraction: IPD from 5 eligible cohorts were collected. Raw-sum scores for each scale were standardized as z scores by using mean and SD of controls for each cohort. Pooled effect size was measured by difference (Δ) in means between groups.

Results: One-stage analyses (1285 participants) revealed significantly lower scores for relationships with friends in VP/VLBW adults compared with controls (Δ −0.37, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.61 to −0.13). Differences were similar after adjusting for sex, age, and socioeconomic status (Δ −0.39, 95% CI: −0.63 to −0.15) and after excluding participants with neurosensory impairment (Δ −0.34, 95% CI: −0.61 to −0.07). No significant differences were found in other domains.

Limitations: Generalizability of research findings to VP survivors born in recent decades.

Conclusions: VP/VLBW adults scored their relationship with friends lower but perceived their family and partner relationships, as well as work and educational experiences, as comparable to those of controls.

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Series: Pediatrics
ISSN: 0031-4005
ISSN-E: 1098-4275
ISSN-L: 0031-4005
Volume: 148
Issue: 5
DOI: 10.1542/peds.2021-051986
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program (grant 733280). The funder did not participate in the work.
Copyright information: Copyright © 2021 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.