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A psychosocial intervention in low birthweight term babies improves performance IQ, visual-spatial memory and behaviour

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Does early psychosocial stimulation benefit cognition and behaviour at 6 years of age in low birthweight term-born children?


140 low birthweight term (LBW-T) infants born at the main public maternity hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. Low birthweight was defined as weight <2500 g, and term deliveries as gestational age ≥37 complete weeks at birth. For two in every three LBW-T infants, the next normal birthweight term (NBW-T) infant of the same gender born in the hospital was also enrolled; this gave a group of 94 NBW-T infants. Exclusion criteria: mothers having ≥3 passes in national secondary level examinations; mothers with HIV; or infants who were twins, had congenital abnormalities or were admitted to special care nursery for >48 h.


One hospital, Kingston, Jamaica; recruitment March to October 1999.


Psychosocial stimulation intervention or care as usual (control). The intervention focused on improving the mother's responsiveness to her child, and involved a 1-h session with mother and child once a week for the first 8 weeks. From age 7 to 24 …

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  • Source of funding The Nestlé Foundation.


  • Competing interests None.

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