The Effect of Premature Births on Language Delay in Children: A Meta-Analysis

Alfiani Vivi Sutanto, Didik Gunawan Tamtomo, Bhisma Murti


Background: Child development problems are problems that need attention. A child can experience developmental delays in one or more developmental domains. It usually occurs in infants who born prematurely. In Indonesia, data from the Ministry of Health states that there are 675,700 premature infants in Indo­nesia. This study aimed to examine the effect of premature births on language delay in children using a meta-analysis

Subjects and Method: This was a systematic review and meta-analysis. The articles used in this study were obtained from several databases including PubMed, Wiley, Springer Link, Else­vier, BMC Pediatrics and Google Scholar. The articles used in this study were those published from 2000-2020. The article search was carried out by considering the eligibility criteria defined using the PICO model. The population in the study were children with intervention in the form of babies born prematurely, the com­parison was that babies born at term, the outcome was language delay. The keywords for searching articles are as follows: (preterm OR "short gestational ages" OR SGA OR prema­ture) AND "language delay" AND child AND observational AND aOR. The articles included in this study are full text articles with an obser­vational study design. Articles were collected using PRISMA flow diagrams. Articles were ana­lyzed using the Review Manager 5.3.

Results: A total of 8 articles from the Ame­ricas, Europe, Asia and Australia were reviewed in this study. The meta-analysis combining 8 cohort studies concluded that preterm infants caused language delay in children 1.65 times as much as non-nomal children (aOR= 1.65, 95% CI= 1.11 to 2.44, p= 0.010).

Conclusion: Infants born prematurely expe­rience delays in language development.

Keywords: premature birth, language development delay 

Correspondence: Alfiani Vivi Sutanto. Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret. Jl. Ir. Su­ta­mi 36A, Surakarta 57126, Central Java. Email: Mobile: 0857992­53­568.

Journal of Maternal and Child Health (2021), 06(01): 67-76

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