The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an early intervention program on behavioral outcomes at corrected age of 5 years for children with birth weights (BWs) of <2000 g.
A randomized controlled trial of a modified version of the Mother-Infant Transaction Program was performed. Outcomes were measured by the Child Behavior Check List report (parents) and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at 5 years (parents and preschool teachers).
A total of 146 infants were assigned randomly (intervention group: 72 infants; reference group: 74 infants). A term group was recruited (75 infants). The mean BWs were 1396 ± 429 g for the intervention group, 1381 ± 436 g for the control group, and 3619 ± 490 g for the term reference group. Parents in the intervention group reported significantly fewer behavioral problems measured by both instruments at 5 years. There were no differences in behavior problems reported by preschool teachers. Significantly more children in the preterm control group scored within the clinical area of both instruments.
This modified version of the Mother-Infant Transaction Program led to fewer behavioral problems reported by parents at corrected age of 5 years for children with BWs of <2000 g.