Premies benefit from adult talk
Researchers have suggested that premature babies benefit from being exposed to adult talk as early as possible.
The goal of the research led by Betty Vohr, MD, director of Women & Infants' Neonatal Follow-Up Program and professor of pediatrics, was to test the association of the amount of talking that a baby was exposed to at what would have been 32 and 36 weeks gestation if a baby had been born full term, using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, 3rd Edition (Bayley - III) cognitive and language scores.It was hypothesized that preterm infants exposed to higher word counts would have higher cognitive and language scores at seven and 18 months corrected age.
At 32 weeks and 36 weeks, staff recorded the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) environment for 16 hours with a Language Environment Analysis (LENA) microprocessor.
The adult word count, child vocalizations and "conversation turns" (words of mother or vocalizations of infant within five seconds) between mother and infant are recorded and analyzed by computer.
Dr. Vohr said that their study demonstrates the powerful impact of parents visiting and talking to their infants in the NICU on their developmental outcomes.
The research has been published online in the journal Pediatrics.
(Posted on 21-02-2014)