Late Effects of Prematurity at 17 years

Commence October 2015. This study  intends to follow a large group of teenagers  born very preterm, their growth and development has been tracked since birth with follow up at 3yrs, 6yrs, 9yrs, 12 yrs  and now at 17 years. This study is being carried out by an expert team many of  whom have been part of the neonatal unit since these children were born.. The team for the 17 year old study are: Assoc Professor Nicola Austin (Paediatrician; Christchurch Women’s Hospital); Dr Stephanie Moor (Psychiatrist; University of Otago, Christchurch); Professor Lianne Woodward (Developmental Psychologist; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, USA); Ms Carole Spencer (Senior Research Nurse Specialist; Christchurch Women’s Hospital); Ms Karelia Levin (Clinical Psychologist; University of Otago, Christchurch); Ms Nicola Ellis (Clinical Research Nurse; Christchurch Women’s Hospital)  and Ms Trish Graham (Clinical Research Nurse, Christchurch Women’s Hospital)


Why is this study important?

Each year in NZ around 660 babies are born very early - this is also called very preterm. The recent changes in medical technology have resulted in dramatic improvements in the care of babies born very early but we still don’t know enough about the longer term effects on mental and physical health and wellbeing as you grow up.

What will the Study Involve?          

The study will involve a whole day series of investigations, interviews & scans. It also entails the monitoring of blood pressure continuously for at least 12 hours. To do this we required a mobile monitor of our own as apposed to borrowing from another department. This offered more flexibility with the young person and their availability and the staffing resource to process it.

The team approached the trust for the purchase of this piece of equipment and were very excited to have it approved.