Background Although much literature has focused on the cognitive, motor and behavioural sequelae of preterm birth, little attention in the medical literature has addressed its impact on everyday life skills. Few standardised assessments that measure adaptive behaviour are normed on a UK/Irish population of children. The Adaptive behaviour Assessment Scale-II (ABAS- II) is a well standardised standalone assessment that has also been adopted as part of the Bayley III assessment to measure the adaptive behaviour of young children, including preterm infants. The ABAS-II is normed, however on a North American population.
Aim To ascertain whether the North American normed ABAS-II is a valid measure of adaptive behaviour for Irish VLBW preschoolers.
Methodology Parents of 51 full term infants (6 months–5 years 6 months of age) born in GUH were assessed using the Parent Questionnaire of the ABAS-II. Results were compared to North American normative data.
Results No difference was found between the ABAS-II General Adaptive Composite of the Irish controls and North American normative data. Of the three domain scores, there was a significant difference in scores in the Social domain, in favour of the Irish controls (p = 0.01), and the practical domain in favour of the North American sample (p = 0.49). No difference was found between the groups in the Conceptual Domain.
Conclusion Caution is required in interpreting the results of Irish VLBW infants when using adaptive measures standardised on a North American population. The results suggest a measurable difference in cultural influences on Adaptive Behaviour that warrant further investigation.
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