Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Measuring later health status of high risk infants: a randomised comparison of two simple methods of data collection

By David J. Field, Elizabeth S. Draper, Melanie J. Gompels, Colin Green, Ann Johnson, David Shortland, Mitch Blair, Bradley Neil Manktelow, Caroline R. Lamming and Catherine Law


Objective: To test two methods of providing low cost information on the later health status of survivors of neonatal intensive care.\ud \ud Design: Cluster randomised comparison.\ud \ud Setting: Nine hospitals distributed across two UK health regions. Each hospital was randomised to use one of two methods of follow up.\ud \ud Participants: All infants born ≤32 weeks' gestation during 1997 in the study hospitals.\ud \ud Method: Families were recruited at the time of discharge. In one method of follow up families were asked to complete a questionnaire about their child's health at the age of 2 years (corrected for gestation). In the other method the children's progress was followed by clerks in the local community child health department by using sources of routine information.\ud \ud Results: 236 infants were recruited to each method of follow up. Questionnaires were returned by 214 parents (91%; 95% confidence interval 84% to 97%) and 223 clerks (95%; 86% to 100%). Completed questionnaires were returned by 201 parents (85%; 76% to 94%) and 158 clerks (67%; 43% to 91%). Most parents found the forms easy to complete, but some had trouble understanding the concept of “corrected age” and hence when to return the form. Community clerks often had to rely on information that was out of date and difficult to interpret.\ud \ud Conclusion: Neither questionnaires from parents nor routinely collected health data are adequate methods of providing complete follow up data on children who were born preterm and required neonatal intensive care, though both methods show potential.Peer-reviewedPublisher Versio

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1136/bmj.323.7324.1276
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. Analysis of a trial randomised in clusters. doi
  2. (1997). Are outcome data regarding the survivors of neonatal care available from routine sources? Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed doi
  3. (1993). Changing childbirth. Part 1—report of the expert maternity group.Winterton report.
  4. (1993). Children first. A study of hospital services. doi
  5. (1993). Clinical Standards Advisory Group. Neonatal›intensive care.
  6. (1994). Epidemiology Unit and Oxford Regional Health Authority. Disability and perinatal care: measurement of health status at two years. Oxford: National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit,
  7. Functional abilities at age 4 years of children born before 29 weeks of gestation. doi
  8. (1991). Health for all children.Report of the joint working party on child health surveillance. 2nd ed. Oxford:
  9. (1996). Health for all children.Report of the third joint working party on child health surveillance. 3rd ed. Oxford:
  10. (1992). House of Commons Health Committee. Session 1991›2.Maternity services: second report.
  11. Loss to follow up of preterm and very preterm babies. doi
  12. (1989). Morbidity and preterm delivery: the importance of 100% follow›up. Lancet
  13. (1991). Practical statistics for medical research. doi
  14. Randomization by cluster. Sample size requirements and analysis. doi
  15. (2001). The need for and role of a coordinator in child health surveillance/promotion. Arch Dis Child doi
  16. Trends in prevalence and survival of very low birthweight infants, England and Wales 1983›7. Arch Dis Child doi
  17. (1999). Unit costs of health and social care 1999. Can› terbury: Personal Social Services Research Unit,
  18. (1999). Whitley Councils for The Health Services. Administrative and clerical staffs council scale (grade 2).

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.