The developmental profile of 61 very-low-birth-weight infants without major cognitive, motor, or sensory deficits was compared with that of 28 term infants at 1 year chronologic age. The groups significantly differed in two ways on the Revised Gesell Developmental Schedules. First, very-low-birth-weight infants were more likely than term infants to have significant discrepancies between either their fine motor or language abilities and their early problem-solving skills as measured by the Adaptive scale of the Gesell. Second, across all fields of behavior (adaptive, gross motor, fine motor, language, and personal/social), very-low-birth-weight infants scored significantly below term infants. The very-low-birth-weight infant's motor performance significantly correlated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, intracranial hemorrhage, and number of days spent in the hospital. Language performance significantly correlated with intracranial hemorrhage, birth weight, and sex. These findings underscore the limitations of global developmental scores to describe adequately the developmental performance of very-low-birth-weight infants. Instead, a comprehensive assessment of all fields of behavior is necessary to provide an accurate profile of this high-risk group.

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