Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We conducted a meta-analysis to examine the association between early intervention and mental or neuromusculoskeletal and movement-related functions of children born low birthweight (LBW) or preterm.

METHOD. The meta-analysis included 16 studies that yielded 97 effects. Q and I2 values were used to determine heterogeneity. Publication bias was evaluated using Egger’s regression intercept test and a funnel plot.

RESULTS. The association between early intervention and either mental or neuromusculoskeletal and movement-related functions yielded a significant but small effect size (d = .219, p < .0001). Heterogeneity was statistically insignificant.

CONCLUSION. Participation in early intervention programs addressing mental or neuromusculoskeletal and movement-related functions in children born LBW or preterm results in significant improvements in these areas.

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