Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Research Publications

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    Morbidity and mortality in hospitalised neonates in central Vietnam
    Tran, HT ; Doyle, LW ; Lee, KJ ; Dang, NM ; Graham, SM (WILEY, 2015-05-01)
    AIM: This study explored neonatal morbidity and mortality in hospitalised patients in central Vietnam and risk factors associated with mortality. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study of all newborn infants (<28 days) hospitalised in a neonatal unit over a 1-year period and followed until discharge. The main outcome measures were case fatality rate and the rate of different clinical diagnoses. RESULTS: There were 2555 admissions during the study period. The leading primary causes of admissions were infections (41%), haematological problems such as jaundice (23%) and prematurity and its complications (18%). The overall case fatality rate was 8.6%, and it was 59% among very low-birthweight (<1500 g) neonates. Mortality was inversely associated with birthweight and gestational age. Of the 220 deaths, 57% occurred within the first 7 days of life. Although the causes of death were often multifactorial, the leading primary causes were infections (32%), prematurity and its complications (25%), birth defects (24%) and birth asphyxia (6%). Risk factors associated with death were being outborn, early gestational age, small for gestational age, confirmed sepsis and birth defects. CONCLUSION: Mortality rates were high among hospitalised neonates in central Vietnam, and this paper suggests interventions that might improve outcomes.
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    A high burden of late-onset sepsis among newborns admitted to the largest neonatal unit in central Vietnam
    Tran, HT ; Doyle, LW ; Lee, KJ ; Dang, NM ; Graham, SM (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-10-01)
    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence, causes and outcome of sepsis in hospitalized neonates in the largest neonatal unit in central Vietnam. STUDY DESIGN: A 1-year prospective cohort study of newborns admitted to the neonatal unit in Da Nang. A sepsis work-up including blood culture was undertaken before commencing antibiotics for neonates with suspected sepsis. RESULT: Of 2555 neonatal admissions, 616 neonates had 729 episodes of suspected invasive sepsis. A pathogen was isolated from blood in 115 (16%) episodes in 106 neonates. The prevalence of early-onset sepsis (EOS) was 8 (95% confidence interval (CI): 4 to 11) per 1000 admissions, and of late-onset sepsis (LOS) was 34 (95% CI: 27 to 41) per 1000 admissions. Of 86 neonates with LOS, 69 (80%) also fulfilled the criteria for nosocomial sepsis. The commonest bacterial causes of EOS were coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) and Staphylococcus aureus, and of LOS were Acinetobacter, CoNS and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Fungal sepsis occurred in 35 neonates of which most were nosocomial sepsis. In vitro resistance to multiple antibiotics was common among Gram-negative bacteria. Antibiotics were prescribed and given to 68% of all admissions, and 14% of all admissions received four or more different antibiotics. The case fatality rate for confirmed sepsis was 46%. CONCLUSION: Late-onset, nosocomial sepsis was common and associated with a high mortality in hospitalized newborns in the largest neonatal unit in central Vietnam. These findings highlighted the need for improved infection control measures and antibiotic stewardship, which have since been implemented.
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    The role of social risk in an early preventative care programme for infants born very preterm: a randomized controlled trial
    Spittle, AJ ; Treyvaud, K ; Lee, KJ ; Anderson, PJ ; Doyle, LW (WILEY, 2018-01-01)
    AIM: To examine the differential effects of an early intervention programme for infants born preterm on neurodevelopment and parental mental health according to family social risk. METHOD: One hundred and twenty infants born earlier than 30 weeks' gestation were randomized to early intervention (n=61) or control groups (n=59). Cognitive, language, and motor outcomes were assessed by blinded assessors at 2 years, 4 years, and 8 years, and primary caregivers completed questionnaires on their anxiety and depression. Outcomes at each time point were compared between groups using linear regression with an interaction term for social risk (higher/lower). RESULTS: There was evidence of interactions between intervention group and social risk for cognition at 2 years and 4 years, motor function at 4 years, and language at 8 years, with a greater intervention effect in children from higher social risk environments. In contrast, the impact of early intervention on parental depressive symptoms was greater for parents of lower social risk than for those of higher social risk. INTERPRETATION: Effects of early intervention on outcomes for children born preterm and their caregivers varied according to family social risk. Family social risk should be considered when implementing early intervention programmes for children born preterm and their families. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Intervention is associated with better early cognitive functioning for children in higher social risk families. Positive effects of intervention for the high risk group were not sustained at school-age. Intervention has a greater effect on primary caregiver mental health in the lower social risk group compared with higher social risk.
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    Preterm and term-equivalent age general movements and 1-year neurodevelopmental outcomes for infants born before 30weeks' gestation
    Olsen, JE ; Allinson, LG ; Doyle, LW ; Brown, NC ; Lee, KJ ; Eeles, AL ; Cheong, JLY ; Spittle, AJ (WILEY, 2018-01-01)
    AIM: To examine the associations between Prechtl's General Movements Assessment (GMA), conducted from birth to term-equivalent age, and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 12 months corrected age, in infants born very preterm. METHOD: One hundred and thirty-seven infants born before 30 weeks' gestation had serial GMA (categorized as 'normal' or 'abnormal') before term and at term-equivalent age. At 12 months corrected age, neurodevelopment was assessed using the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS); Neurological, Sensory, Motor, Developmental Assessment (NSMDA); and Touwen Infant Neurological Examination (TINE). The relationships between GMA at four time points and 12-month neurodevelopmental assessments were examined using regression models. RESULTS: Abnormal GMA at all time points were associated with worse continuous scores on the AIMS, NSMDA, and TINE (p<0.05). Abnormal GMA before term and at term-equivalent age were associated with increased odds of mild-severe dysfunction on the NSMDA (odds ratio [OR] 4.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.55-11.71, p<0.01; and OR 4.16, 95% CI 1.55-11.17, p<0.01 respectively) and abnormal GMA before term with increased odds of suboptimal-abnormal motor function on the TINE (OR 2.75, 95% CI 1.10-6.85, p=0.03). INTERPRETATION: Abnormal GMA before term and at term-equivalent age were associated with worse neurodevelopment at 12 months corrected age in children born very preterm. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Abnormal general movements before term predict developmental deficits at 1 year in infants born very preterm. General Movements Assessment before term identifies at-risk infants born very preterm.
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    Very preterm birth before arrival at hospital
    Boland, RA ; Davis, PG ; Dawson, JA ; Stewart, MJ ; Smith, J ; Doyle, LW (WILEY, 2018-04-01)
    BACKGROUND: Our aim was to report perinatal characteristics of very preterm births before arrival (BBAs) at a hospital, and perinatal and infant mortality rates up to one year, comparing BBAs with births in a hospital. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A population-based cohort study of 22-31 weeks' gestation births in the state of Victoria, Australia from 1990-2009. BBAs were defined as unintentional births at home or on route to hospital. Perinatal data were obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria. Perinatal and infant mortality data comparing BBAs with births in hospitals were analysed by logistic regression, adjusted for gestational age, birthweight and sex. RESULTS: One hundred and thirty-three BBAs were recorded: 51 (38%) stillbirths and 82 (62%) livebirths. Compared with births in a hospital, BBAs were less mature (26.3 weeks (SD 2.9) vs 27.7 weeks (SD 2.8), P < 0.001) and a higher proportion were born to teenagers: 13% versus 5% (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.86, P < 0.001). BBAs were significantly more likely to be stillborn (aOR 2.13, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.41, 3.23, P < 0.001) die within 28 days of livebirth (aOR 2.97, 95% CI 1.54, 5.73, P = 0.001) or die within a year of livebirth (aOR 2.87, 95% CI 1.51, 5.46, P = 0.001) compared with hospital births. Overall, 54 BBAs survived to one year (41% all BBAs, 67% liveborn BBAs), compared with 69% of hospital births (87% of livebirths). CONCLUSIONS: Very preterm birth before arrival is more common in teenagers and is associated with significantly increased risks of perinatal and infant mortality compared with birth in a hospital.
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    Rates of early intervention services in children born extremely preterm/extremely low birthweight
    Mills, IS ; Doyle, LW ; Cheong, JLY ; Roberts, G (WILEY, 2018-01-01)
    AIM: To determine the rates of early intervention (EI) service use in extremely preterm (EP, <28 weeks' gestation) or extremely low birthweight (ELBW, <1000 g) infants between 1991 and 2013, and identify biological or socio-economic factors associated with receiving EI. METHODS: Participants comprised consecutive EP or ELBW survivors born in 1991-1992, 1997 or 2005 in Victoria, Australia, and randomly selected, matched term-born controls. The main outcome measure was parent-reported EI participation up to 8 years of age. Neurodevelopmental outcomes and socio-economic risk factors were compared with EI participation to identify associations among the preterm groups. RESULTS: The rates of EI were higher in the preterm groups than the control groups overall (odds ratio 4.29, 95% confidence interval 3.28, 5.59, P < 0.001), and the rates of EI rose significantly over time - from 42% in the 1991-1992 preterm cohort to 64% in the 2005 preterm cohort. Among the preterm groups, post-natal corticosteroid therapy, cystic periventricular leukomalacia and surgery in the newborn period were all independently associated with increased odds of receiving EI. Increased severity of disability was associated with higher rates of EI. The majority (95%) of preterm children with a physical impairment received EI, compared with only 73% of children with a cognitive impairment alone. EI participation rates were independent of social risk. CONCLUSION: EI participation is high in the EP population, and rates of EI use have increased over time. Contrary to previous reports, social risk factors were not found to be associated with EI use.
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    Survey of neurodevelopmental allied health teams in Australian and New Zealand neonatal nurseries: Staff profile and standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessment
    Allinson, LG ; Doyle, LW ; Denehy, L ; Spittle, AJ (WILEY, 2017-06-01)
    AIMS: The primary aim of this study was to establish how many neonatal nurseries in Australia and New Zealand had a neurodevelopmental allied health team, to ascertain the disciplines involved, their qualifications and experience. The secondary aim was to evaluate which standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessments were currently being implemented, and the existing practice in relation to their use. METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional survey, sampling 179 eligible public and private hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and special care nurseries (SCNs) throughout Australia and New Zealand, was purpose-developed and administered electronically from the 5th April to 23rd July 2013. RESULTS: A total of 117 units (65%) overall, and 26 of 26 (100%) NICUs responded to the survey. NICUs had more neurodevelopmental allied health staff than SCNs, with physiotherapists and speech pathologists the most common disciplines. Physiotherapists were more likely to administer standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessments in NICUs, while medical staff were more likely to do so in SCNs. A wide variety of standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessment tools were used, with Prechtl's General Movements Assessment the most common in the NICUs (50%) and the Hammersmith Neonatal Neurological Examination the most common in the special care units (25%). Standardised neurobehavioural assessments were not administered in 22% of SCNs. CONCLUSIONS: Although neurodevelopmental allied health teams and standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessments are valued by many, there was little consistency across Australian and New Zealand neonatal nurseries.
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    Predictive value of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children - Second Edition at 4years, for motor impairment at 8years in children born preterm
    Griffiths, A ; Morgan, P ; Anderson, PJ ; Doyle, LW ; Lee, KJ ; Spittle, AJ (WILEY, 2017-05-01)
    AIM: To assess the predictive validity at 4 years of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children - Second Edition (MABC-2) for motor impairment at 8 years in children born preterm. We also aimed to determine if sex, cognition, medical, or social risks were associated with motor impairment at 8 years or with a change in MABC-2 score between 4 years and 8 years. METHOD: Ninety-six children born at less than 30 weeks' gestation were assessed with the MABC-2 at 4 years and 8 years of age. Motor impairment was defined as less than or equal to the 5th centile. The Differential Ability Scales - Second Edition (DAS-II) was used to measure General Conceptual Ability (GCA) at 4 years, with a score <90 defined as 'below average'. RESULTS: There was a strong association between the MABC-2 total standard scores at 4 years and 8 years (59% variance explained, regression coefficient=0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.69-0.91, p<0.001). The MABC-2 at 4 years had high sensitivity (79%) and specificity (93%) for predicting motor impairment at 8 years. Below average cognition and higher medical risk were associated with increased odds of motor impairment at 8 years (odds ratio [OR]=15.3, 95% CI 4.19-55.8, p<0.001, and OR=3.77, 95% CI 1.28-11.1, p=0.016 respectively). Sex and social risk did not appear to be associated with motor impairment at 8 years. There was little evidence that any variables were related to change in MABC-2 score between 4 years and 8 years. INTERPRETATION: The MABC-2 at 4 years is predictive of motor functioning in middle childhood. Below average cognition and higher medical risk may be predictors of motor impairment.
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    Neurobehaviour at term-equivalent age and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years in infants born moderate-to-late preterm
    Spittle, AJ ; Walsh, JM ; Potter, C ; Mcinnes, E ; Olsen, JE ; Lee, KJ ; Anderson, PJ ; Doyle, LW ; Cheong, JLY (WILEY, 2017-02-01)
    AIM: To examine the association between newborn neurobehavioural assessments and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years in infants born moderate-to-late preterm (MLPT). METHOD: Two-hundred and one infants born MLPT (born 32-36+6 wks' gestation) were assessed with the Hammersmith Neonatal Neurological Examination (HNNE) and NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS), with suboptimal performance defined as scores lower than the 10th centile. Development was assessed at 2 years corrected age with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development 3rd Edition, with delay defined as scores less than 1 standard deviation (SD) below the mean. The relationships between neurobehaviour at term and Bayley-III cognitive, language, and motor scales at 2 years were examined using linear regression. RESULTS: Increased odds for cognitive delay were associated with suboptimal HNNE total scores (odds ratio [OR] 2.66; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14-6.23, p=0.020) and suboptimal NNNS excitability (OR 3.01; 95% CI 1.33-6.82, p=0.008) and lethargy (OR 4.05; 95% CI 1.75-9.31, p=0.001) scores. Suboptimal lethargy scores on the NNNS were associated with increased odds of language (OR 5.64; 95% CI 1.33-23.85, p=0.019) and motor delay (OR: 6.86; 95% CI 1.64-28.71, p=0.08). INTERPRETATION: Suboptimal performance on specific aspects of newborn neurobehavioural assessments is associated with neurodevelopmental delay at 2 years in children born MLPT.
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    A simple screen performed at school entry can predict academic under-achievement at age seven in children born very preterm
    Taylor, R ; Pascoe, L ; Scratch, S ; Doyle, LW ; Anderson, P ; Roberts, G (WILEY, 2016-07-01)
    AIM: We aimed to compare the academic outcomes of a cohort of children born very preterm (VPT, <32 weeks of gestation) and children born at term at age 7 years and assess the ability of a pre-academic skill screen at age five to predict later academic impairment in children born VPT at age seven. METHODS: One hundred ninety-four children born VPT (born with either gestational age <30 weeks or birthweight <1250 g) and 70 controls born at term from a prospective birth cohort were compared on academic outcomes (Wide Range Achievement Test, WRAT4) at age seven using regression analyses. Receiver-operating characteristic curves were used to determine whether pre-academic skills (Kaufman Survey of Early Academic and Language Skills, K-SEALS) at age five predicted academic impairment at age seven in 174 of the VPT cohort. RESULTS: At the age of 7 years, children born VPT had lower mean word reading (-9.7, 95% CI: -14.7 to -4.6), spelling (-8.3, 95% CI: -13.3 to -3.3) and math computation (-10.9, 95% CI: -15.3 to -6.5) scores (all P-values ≤0.001) compared with controls born at term, even after adjusting for social risk and time since school commencement. In terms of pre-academic screening, the Numbers, Letters and Words subtest of the K-SEALS had adequate sensitivity and specificity (70-80%) for predicting children with academic impairment at age seven. CONCLUSIONS: Children born VPT underperformed in academic outcomes at age seven compared with controls born at term. A pre-academic screening tool used at school entry can predict children born VPT at risk of academic impairment at age seven who could benefit from targeted early intervention.