Early intervention and follow-up programs among children with cerebral palsy in Moldova: potential impact on impairments?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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AIM: To study whether early intervention services (EI) and a follow-up program (FU) influence outcomes of children with cerebral palsy (CP) in Moldova. METHODS: Records from 351 children with CP in Moldova born during 2009 and 2010 were retrieved from hospital and orphanage archives between 1 July 2016 and 30 September 2017. We investigated the proportion enrolled in EI and FU at the Early Intervention Centre Voinicel and at the Institute of Mother and Child in 2009-2012. Logistic regression analyses were applied to calculate crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for outcomes in children enrolled and not enrolled. RESULTS: Among all children with CP, 166 (47%) were enrolled in EI and FU. Of the 51 children born extremely preterm (gestational age <= 31 weeks), 46 (90%) were enrolled, compared to 97 (39%) of the 250 children born at term. Among 110 non-walking children with CP, 82 (74%) were enrolled into EI and FU, compared to 84 (35%) of 241 able to walk. There was no difference in outcomes of cognition, communication, vision and hearing impairments between those enrolled or not enrolled in EI and FU. However, the subgroup analyses showed that the risk of contractures was 11 times higher among non-walking children who were not enrolled in EI and FU programs (OR = 10.931, 95% CI 2.328-51.328, p = 0.002). CONCLUSION: In Moldova, EI and FU seem to be offered mostly to extremely preterm and non-walking children with CP. The results indicate a decreased risk for contractures in these children.