Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Recent progress in science and medicine is that regions such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe have witnessed dramatic declines in infant morbidity and mortality. The most significant of these declines has occurred among infants born prematurely and low birth weight (LBW)--the cohort that represents the highest proportion of illness and death among infants Despite these medical advances, recent longitudinal studies have provided clear evidence of physical health problems; cognitive and neuropsychological dysfunction; and other social, emotional, and behavioral problems among children born prematurely. A number of studies have indicated that premature and LBW infants are still at risk for psychosocial, physical, and mental problems despite the immediate contributions of post-natal interventions to their increased chance for survival The extant research has demonstrated that children born prematurely and LBW are at risk for problems in health, neuropsychological functioning, learning, academic achievement, behavior, and psychosocial adjustment. Research has further demonstrated that a variety of physical and psychological conditions are associated with poorer QOL among children. However, few studies have examined pediatric QOL among preterm school-aged children. Moreover, existing studies have not explored the relationship between cognitive, academic, and social/emotional functioning and QOL. The current study compared child and parent ratings of health-related quality of life among school-aged children born preterm (n = 26) and full-term (n = 28). Given the increased rates of physical, psychological, and cognitive problems among the preterm population, it was hypothesized that children born prematurely would have significantly poorer proxy-reported and self-reported QOL than children born preterm.
Copyright 2010 Thomasin E. McCoy