Motor development of preterm and term infants in the fundamental movement phase: a cross-sectional study

Joyce Karla Machado da Silva, Aline Mariane Sargi, Isabel Cristina de Oliveira Andrade, Camila Costa de Araújo, Tiago Del Antonio


Introduction: Motor development is a continuous process of motor behavior changes throughout life, allowing for movement control. Premature birth can affect this process, with a greater risk of delays in acquiring these skills. Objective: Compare motor development during the fundamental movement phase of preterm infants submitted to early stimulation and full-term babies. Methods: An analytical cross-sectional study with convenience sampling, performed with twenty 3-year-old children of both sexes, distributed into two groups: the preterm group (n = 10), which received physical therapy in the first months of life, and the term group (n = 10). Motor development stages were assessed between January and April 2013, using the Motor Development Scale (Escala de Desenvolvimento Motor - EDM) developed by Francisco Rosa Neto, with an average execution time of thirty minutes. Statistical analysis was performed using BioEstat 5.0 software, and the Shapiro-Wilk test was applied to verify data normality. A significance level of p ≤ 0.05 was adopted, analyzed using the Mann-Whitney test. Results: The term group exhibited significant differences in relation to the preterm group for the variables Fine and Gross Motor Skills, and Spatial and Temporal Awareness, with no differences in Balance and Body Scheme. Conclusion: Only the premature infants submitted to early intervention achieved normal levels of Balance and Body Scheme on the EDM Scale.

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