Evaluation of a tool to screen at preschool age for minor cognitive disorders liable to affect schooling among children born premature
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To evaluate a detection tool designed to help paediatricians identify, at preschool age, minor neurocognitive disorders that interfere with normal schooling.
One hundred-and-fourteen preterm singletons born between 1997 and 2001 at less than 32 weeks of amenorrhoea, in a tertiary perinatal care center, were invited to visit us for a medical examination and a rapid neurocognitive assessment (BREV) when they were aged between 4 and 8 years and were re-contacted at 6–10 years of age to evaluate their current schooling situation. Results of BREV and schooling parameters were compared.
Mean gestational age was 29 weeks and mean birth weight was 1,164 g. Fifteen children (13.2%) showed abnormal results on BREV testing and had unusual schooling histories. Among the 68 children with normal BREV, 65 (95.6%) had achieved normal schooling. The sensitivity of the BREV test in this population for detection of minor disorders interfering with schooling was thus 83.3% (95% CI = 57.7–95.6) and the predictive value of a negative test was 95.6% (95% CI = 86.8–98.9). For the 57 children (50%) assessed before the age of 5 years, the sensitivity and the predictive value of a negative test were both 100%.
Our survey shows that the BREV test can, in a population of preschool children who were born premature, screen for minor neurocognitive disorders that impact schooling parameters. BREV assessment, used in the setting of follow-up of premature infants, would identify children in need of early remedial education before schooling under-attainment or failure developed.