General movement optimality score and general movements trajectories following early parent-administrated physiotherapy in the neonatal intensive care unit
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background The Prechtl General Movement Assessment (GMA) is a reliable tool for the functional assessment of the young nervous system. It is based on a global assessment of the quality of infants' movements. In addition, detailed steps of assessment have been developed – one for preterm and term age, and one for use between 3 and 5 months. One potential benefit of such a detailed analysis is the documentation of subtle changes in the infants' spontaneous movements caused by early intervention. Aim To present detailed scores of the infants' general movements (GMs) at preterm age, and of the infants' motor repertoire at 3 months' postterm age (PTA), for infants having participated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of early intervention, and to examine possible group differences. In addition, the aim is also to present the GMA from preterm to 3 months' PTA, comparing the intervention and the control group. Study design A retrospective study on infants who had participated in an RCT of parent-administered early intervention. Subjects 141 infants born very preterm. Outcome measures GMA, “Detailed Assessment of General Movements During Preterm and Term Age” and “Assessment of Motor Repertoire at 3 to 5 months”. Results The GMA and the detailed assessments of GMs conducted at 36 weeks' post menstrual age (PMA) showed the same distribution of normal and abnormal movements in both the intervention and in the control group, as did the assessment of motor repertoire at 3 months' PTA. Conclusion Neither the GMA nor the detailed assessments of GMs at 36 weeks' PMA and of the motor repertoire at 13 weeks' PTA suggest that early intervention, performed before term, changes the GMs of very preterm-born infants.