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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


RODRIGUES, Maura Calixto Cecherelli de; MELLO, Rosane Reis de; SILVA, Kátia Silveira da  and  CARVALHO, Márcia Lazaro de. Cognitive development of premature children at school age: a proposal for a hierarchical model to investigate risk factors. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.27, n.6, pp.1154-1164. ISSN 1678-4464.

Cognitive impairment is a neurodevelopmental sequela that is more prevalent in very low birth weight (VLBW) premature children. There are few Brazilian studies on this group's cognitive development at school age. The current study proposes a theoretical discussion on the determinants of cognitive development at school age in VLBW preterm children, using a hierarchical analytical model. According to this model, biological and environmental factors interrelate on several levels (distal, intermediate, and proximal), resulting in changes in cognitive development. The aim is to investigate the possible mediation of variables and their interrelationships and the resulting events that could lead to cognitive impairment as the outcome. Selection of risk factors was based on a literature review of factors associated with adverse cognitive outcomes. Better understanding of the interrelationships between these factors could lead to more appropriate prevention and intervention in this group, thereby increasing their chances of educational and social inclusion.

Keywords : Cognition; Child Development; Premature Infant; Risk Factors.

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