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Body orientation on head control in preterm infants on 2 and 3 months old: chronological age versus corrected age

Grant number: 11/17504-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Eloisa Tudella
Grantee:Mayra Sivieri Possebom
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The head control is one of the most important motor acquisitions in the first months of life. In full term infants this acquisition is improved by the physiological flexion, however in preterm infants, it is more difficult to be acquired because of the hypotonic characteristic. This study aims to verify both the extrinsic (body orientation) and intrinsic (prematurity) influence on head control acquisition in preterm infants at the 2nd and 3th months of life and also determine whether there are differences between chronological and corrected age in preterm infants. Thus, 10 preterm infants will be assessed on 2 and 3 months, in two different body orientations: 1) Supine with neck semi flexed (SF); 2) supine with neck semi flexed and reclined to 20 degree (R). In both conditions, a visual stimulation card, with a human face, will be presented to the infant, at a distance of 25-40 cm of his eyes, and will be slowly moved by the tester. The assessment will be recorded by three digital cameras (two of them laterally and one postero-superiously to the infant). The total time of the assessment will be 41/2 minutes (2 minutes each condition and an interval of 30 seconds between them). The variables are: head movement frequency, head initial position (right, left and midline) and head trajectory (side-to-midline, midline-to-side and side-to-side).