Until recently our knowledge of infants with subclinical motor and psychological defects was limited by two facts: (1) the lack of a consistent rating system on which neonatal distress could be recorded, and (2) the poor quality, in terms of prediction, of the diagnostic techniques available to the neurologist, psychiatrist, and psychologist. With the advent of the Apgar rating system,1 the first step in understanding this problem was made. Rating standardization over various parts of the country tends to produce records which are consistent, regardless of place and examiner, and which therefore facilitate research interest. While the first step has been taken, the Apgar rating has not yet provided a sensitive diagnostic tool, in that its predictive use is still limited to a dichotomous distribution.
In the last five years, much work on neonatal and infant perception and attention has demonstrated that (1) the technology is now available for
NEONATAL DISTRESS, MEASUREMENT AND PREDICTION. JAMA. 1967;200(3):245–246. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120160111021