Developmental and behavioural outcomes at 2 years in babies born during the COVID-19 pandemic: communication concerns in a pandemic birth cohort
Introduction: The CORAL (Impact of Corona Virus Pandemic on Allergic and Autoimmune Dysregulation in Infants Born During Lockdown) study reported a reduction in social communication milestones in 12-month-old infants born into the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aims: To look at 24-month developmental and behavioural outcomes in the CORAL cohort.
Design: The CORAL study is a longitudinal prospective observational study of Irish infants born in the first 3 months of the pandemic. At 24 months of age, the Ages and Stages Developmental Questionnaire (ASQ24) and the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) were completed and compared with prepandemic BASELINE (Babies After SCOPE: Evaluating the Longitudinal Impact Using Neurological and Nutritional Impact) cohort.
Results: 917 babies (312 CORAL infants and 605 BASELINE infants) were included. At 24 months of age, infants in the CORAL and BASELINE cohorts had similar developmental ASQ24 scores in fine motor, problem solving and personal and social domains but ASQ24 communication scores were significantly lower in the CORAL group compared with the BASELINE cohort (mean (SD) 49.5 (15.1) vs 53.7 (11.6), p<0.01). Infants from the CORAL cohort were more likely to score below standardised cut-offs for developmental concern in the communication domain (11.9% CORAL compared with 5.4% BASELINE, p<0.01). Unadjusted ASQ24 gross motor scores were lower for the pandemic cohort. Fewer CORAL infants fell under 2 SD cut-off in personal-social subdomain. For CBCL, there was no evidence of difference in scores between the cohorts on multivariable analysis.
Conclusion: 24-month-old pandemic-born infants had largely similar developmental and behavioural scores compared with their prepandemic counterparts. Concerns have been raised in the communication developmental domain.
Temple Street Hospital Foundation in Dublin, Ireland (RPAC 20.02)
Clemens von Pirquet Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland
CommentsThe original article is available at https://adc.bmj.com/
Published CitationByrne S. et al. Developmental and behavioural outcomes at 2 years in babies born during the COVID-19 pandemic: communication concerns in a pandemic birth cohort. Arch Dis Child. 2023;108(10):846-851
Publication Date21 June 2023
- Data Science Centre
- FutureNeuro Centre
PublisherBMJ Pub. Group
- Published Version (Version of Record)