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August 1999

A Parable Wrapped in an Enigma: Population-Based Assessments of Outcomes Among High-Risk Neonates Are Even Less Achievable in the Age of Clinical Informatics

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Milwaukee Clinical Campus, University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999;153(8):789-792. doi:10.1001/archpedi.153.8.789

A staple of the biomedical research literature in perinatal care is the article on sequelae of high-risk infants. These articles variously examine growth, cognitive, neurodevelopmental, behavioral, health, and other outcomes of low-birth-weight, preterm, or intrauterine growth–restricted neonates who survived the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or neonatal period. More recently, a new genre of articles has emerged that provides meta-analytic or systematic reviews of the results of these articles on sequelae of high-risk infants.1-5 A review of the purposes, analytic strategies, conclusions, and implications of these studies seems worthwhile. In this commentary, I focus especially on the comments and suggestions of other researchers who have considered the methodological complexities and study designs required for scientifically valid, clinically useful studies.6-10

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