Evaluation of coordination and balance in preterm children

  • Rodríguez Fernández C
  • Mata Zubillaga D
  • Rodríguez Fernández L
 et al. 
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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Recent studies show that many preterm children without apparent neurological sequelae present some difficulties in different areas, such as coordination or balance during their school years. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2) has demonstrated to be a useful tool to validate the coordination, while the stabilometric platform was the reference standard test for validating the balance. PATIENTS AND METHOD: Case-control study carried out on preterm children from 7 to 10 years old and healthy term infant controls of the same ages. The same age band of MABC-2 was applied and the static balance by the stabilometric platform was analysed. RESULTS: A total of 89 subjects were included, 30 preterm children≤1,500g birthweight, 29 preterm children>1,500g birthweight, and 30 controls. Preterm children obtained the lowest scores on an overall basis in hand dexterity and balance tests in MABC-2, regardless of their birthweight. Lower gestational age was associated with poorer outcomes in hand dexterity and total scores in MABC-2. Balance results were similar using the stabilometric platform, regardless of prematurity. CONCLUSIONS: A little more than 10% preterm and term children could have coordination disorders or be at risk of developing them using the MABC-2. Despite the visual-motor coordination being similar, preterm children could face greater difficulties in hand dexterity while, in the absence of neurological comorbidity, preterm and term children balance could be comparable.

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Authors

  • Cristina Rodríguez Fernández

  • Daniel Mata Zubillaga

  • Luis Miguel Rodríguez Fernández

  • Laura Regueras Santos

  • Maria Mercedes Reguera García

  • José Antonio de Paz Fernández

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