Feasibility of a Preventive Parenting Intervention for Very Preterm Children at 18 Months Corrected Age: A Randomized Pilot Trial


      To evaluate the feasibility and potential efficacy of an age-appropriate additional parenting intervention for very preterm born toddlers.

      Study design

      In a randomized controlled pilot study, 60 of 94 eligible very preterm born children who had received a responsive parenting intervention in their first year were randomized to usual care or the additional intervention, consisting of 4-6 home visits between 18 and 22 months' corrected gestational age (CA). Parents were supported to responsively interact during increasingly complex daily activities and play. Parental satisfaction with the intervention was evaluated with a questionnaire. At baseline and 24 months CA, parents completed the Infant Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, and the Dutch Schlichting Lexilist for receptive language. At 24 months CA, motor, and cognitive development was measured by the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition Dutch version, and parent-child interaction was evaluated by the Emotional Availability Scales.


      Parental compliance and satisfaction with the intervention was high. Effect sizes (after correction for baseline variables) were small for internalizing and competence behavior, receptive language, and problem solving; medium for cognitive development and parent-child interaction; and large for externalizing and dysregulation behavior and motor development.


      After a postdischarge intervention during the first year, an additional responsive parenting support at toddler-age is feasible and associated with positive outcomes in a broad array of parental and child outcome measures.

      Trial registration NL40208.018.12.



      ASQ-3 (Ages and Stages Questionnaire, Third Edition), BSID-III-NL (Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition, Dutch Version), CA (Corrected gestational age), EAS (Emotional Availability Scales), IBAIP (Infant Behavioral Assessment and Intervention Program), ITSEA (Infant Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment), ToP (Transmural developmental support for preterm children and their parents)
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