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Language outcomes at 4 years of linguistically diverse children born very preterm: an Australian retrospective single-centre study

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posted on 2024-01-04, 01:09 authored by G Tinoco Mendoza, J Stack, Abdel-Latif MohamedAbdel-Latif Mohamed, S Raman, P Garg

Abstract:- Background: Very preterm children are at increased risk of language delays. Concerns have been raised about the utility of standardised English language tools to diagnose language delay in linguistically diverse children. Our study investigated the incidence of language delay at 4 years in linguistically diverse very preterm children. Methods: Very preterm children born in South Western Sydney, Australia, between 2012 and 2016, were assessed with the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Preschool-2 (CELF-P2) tool at 4 years of age. We sought to determine the incidence of language delay in this cohort using language scores from the CELF-P2 assessment tool, and explore potential predictors associated with language delay. Results: One hundred and sixty very preterm children attended the 4-year assessment out of the included 270 long-term survivors. At 4 years, 76 (52%) very preterm children had language delay diagnosed using the CELF-P2 assessment tool. Children who preferred a language other than English had lower average core language scores on the CELF-P2 assessment tool (75.1±14.4) compared with children that preferred English (86.5±17.9); p=0.002. Very preterm children growing up in households that preferenced a language other than English and those who were born from multiple births had higher odds of language delay at 4 years (AOR 10.30 (95% CI 2.82 to 38.28); p<0.001 and AOR 2.93 (95% CI 1.20 to 7.14); p=0.018, respectively). Assessing these children using an English language tool may have affected language scores at 4 years. Conclusions: In this metropolitan setting, very preterm children from linguistically diverse backgrounds were found to be vulnerable to language delays at 4 years. Further large-scale studies evaluating the language outcomes of linguistically diverse preterm children with more culturally appropriate tools are warranted. We question the utility of standardised English language tools to assess language outcomes of linguistically diverse populations.

History

Publication Date

2023-07-19

Journal

BMJ Paediatrics Open

Volume

7

Issue

1

Article Number

e001814

Pagination

9p.

Publisher

BMJ

ISSN

2399-9772

Rights Statement

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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