Research Article  |   March 2014
Difficulty in Mental, Neuromusculoskeletal, and Movement-Related School Functions Associated With Low Birthweight or Preterm Birth: A Meta-Analysis
Author Affiliations
  • Kinsuk Maitra, PhD, OTR/L, is Chair and Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Florida International University, 11200 SW Eighth Street, MMC, AHC3 443, Miami, FL 33199; kmaitra@fiu.edu
  • Hae Yean Park, PhD, OT, is Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Occupational Therapy, Florida International University, Miami
  • Jaime Eggenberger, Erin Knight, and Betty Ng are Students, Department of Occupational Therapy, Florida International University, Miami
  • Angela Matthiessen, MSOT, OTR/L, is Director, CreatAbility, Inc., Atlanta, GA
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / School-Based Practice / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   March 2014
Difficulty in Mental, Neuromusculoskeletal, and Movement-Related School Functions Associated With Low Birthweight or Preterm Birth: A Meta-Analysis
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2014, Vol. 68, 140-148. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.009985
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2014, Vol. 68, 140-148. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.009985
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Our objective was to perform a meta-analysis to investigate whether low birthweight (LBW) or preterm birth was associated with difficulty in mental, neuromusculoskeletal, and movement-related school function tasks.

METHOD. Two search strategies produced 40 studies that met the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis and yielded 549 effect sizes (d). Heterogeneity was evaluated by obtaining Q and I-squared values. Egger’s regression intercept test and a funnel plot were used to check for publication bias.

RESULTS. Children born LBW exhibited considerable difficulties in mental (d = −0.655, p < .0001) and neuromusculoskeletal and movement-related tasks (d = −0.391, p < .0001) compared with children of normal birthweight. Children born preterm also exhibited significant difficulties compared with full-term children in mental, neuromusculoskeletal, and movement-related tasks (d = −0.237, p < .0001).

CONCLUSION. Deficits in mental and motor functions in children born LBW or preterm appear to have significant effects on school readiness and academic achievement.