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Inattention in very preterm children: implications for screening and detection

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journal contribution
posted on 30.10.2014, 14:01 by Ellen Brogan, Lucy Cragg, Camilla GilmoreCamilla Gilmore, Neil Marlow, Victoria Simms, Samantha Johnson
Objective Children born very preterm (VP; <32 weeks) are at risk for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). ADHD in VP children have a different clinical presentation to ADHD in the general population, and therefore VP children with difficulties may not come to the teacher's attention in school. We have assessed ADHD symptoms to determine whether VP children's difficulties may go undetected in the classroom. Design Parents and teachers of 117 VP and 77 term-born children completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire to assess hyperactivity/inattention, emotional, conduct and peer problems, and the Du Paul ADHD Rating Scale-IV to assess inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms. Special Educational Needs (SEN) were assessed using teacher report. Group differences in outcomes were adjusted for socio-economic deprivation. Results Parents and teachers rated VP children with significantly higher mean Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire hyperactivity/inattention scores, and parents rated them with more clinically significant hyperactivity/inattention difficulties than term-born controls (Relative Risk (RR) 4.0; 95% CI 1.4 to 11.4). Examining ADHD dimensions, parents and teachers rated VP children with significantly more inattention symptoms than controls, and parents rated them with more clinically significant inattention (RR 4.8; 95% CI 1.4 to 16.0); in contrast, there was no excess of hyperactivity/impulsivity. After excluding children with SEN, VP children still had significantly higher inattention scores than controls but there was no excess of hyperactivity/impulsivity. Conclusions VP children are at greater risk for symptoms of inattention than hyperactivity/impulsivity. Inattention was significantly increased among VP children without identified SEN suggesting that these problems may be difficult to detect in school. Raising teachers’ awareness of inattention problems may be advantageous in enabling them to identify VP children who may benefit from intervention.

Funding

This study was funded by an Action Medical Research project grant to Samantha Johnson, Camilla Gilmore, Lucy Cragg and Neil Marlow. Neil Marlow receives a proportion of funding from the Department of Health’s NIHR Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme at UCLH/UCL. Camilla Gilmore is funded by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

ARCHIVES OF DISEASE IN CHILDHOOD

Volume

99

Issue

9

Pages

834 - 839 (6)

Citation

BROGAN, E. ... et al, 2014. Inattention in very preterm children: implications for screening and detection. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 99 (9), pp. 834 - 839.

Publisher

BMJ Publishing Group © the authors

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2014

Notes

This article has been accepted for publication in Archives of Disease in Childhood following peer review. The definitive copyedited, typeset version BROGAN, E. ... et al, 2014. Inattention in very preterm children: implications for screening and detection. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 99 (9), pp. 834 - 839 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2013-305532

ISSN

0003-9888

Language

en