October 1988

Rehospitalization of Very-Low-Birth-Weight Infants

Author Affiliations

From the School of Social Work and Community Planning, University of Maryland, Baltimore (Dr Combs-Orme); Department of Pediatrics, Louisiana State University School of Medicine (Dr Fishbein) and Earl K. Long Hospital, Baton Rouge (Dr Fishbein and Ms Summerville); and Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Baton Rouge (Ms Evans).

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(10):1109-1113. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150100103037

• Very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants are at high risk of mortality, morbidity, and rehospitalization in the first years of life, but little information is available to predict which VLBW infants are likely to require rehospitalization. This study describes a sample of 79 VLBW infants cared for in a charity hospital. The sample was predominantly black, and the majority of the mothers were young and unmarried. Some of the infants were followed up by a multidisciplinary High-Risk Follow-up Clinic, and all were tracked until their second birthdays to determine the rate of rehospitalization. Using multiple regression, we present herein a model that accounts for 51% of the variance in rehospitalization; the model includes mother's age, education, and marital status; infant birth weight and gestational age; the use of prenatal care and the High-Risk Follow-up Clinic; and three quadratic terms. Although the significance of the quadratic factors in the model makes explanation of these results difficult, results suggest that the model can be used to predict whether infants will require rehospitalization in the first two years of life.

(AJDC 1988;142:1109-1113)