Turk J Pediatr. 2021;63(5):855-866. doi: 10.24953/turkjped.2021.05.013.
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the relationship between sensory processing and motor development in very preterm infants. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of motor development with sensory processing among such infants with developmental delay and those who had typical development at the ages of 8 and 12 months.
METHODS: This prospective case-control study included 61 preterm infants (31 males, 30 females, mean gestational age: 29.1 weeks). The infants had a gestational age of 32 weeks or less and a current corrected age of 8 months, and they had spent at least 15 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. Motor development was assessed with the Neuro-sensory Motor Developmental Assessment (NSMDA), and sensory processing was evaluated with the Test of Sensory Functions in Infants (TSFI).
RESULTS: There were very strong positive correlations between the gross and fine motor scores of the NSMDA and the TSFI`s subdomain scores and total scores (r=0.85-0.93, p < 0.001). There were also very strong negative correlations between the functional level according to the NSMDA and the subdomain scores and total scores of the TSFI (r=-0.89-0.94, p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The results show that sensory processing and motor development are related parts of the development of very preterm infants. In the early rehabilitation process, therapists should comprehensively take motor and sensory development into consideration.
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