"Health care providers must recognize the lifelong risk conferred by preterm birth."
PhD Student and Faculty Co-Author Call to Action About Effects of Preterm Birth
"Health care providers can no longer relegate preterm birth to an irrelevant portion of a patient’s medical history...They can and should provide care to influence the future expression of these health risks," say co-authors Michelle Kelly, PhD, CRNP, assistant professor, and Patricia Griffith, MSN, CRNP, ACNP-BC, PhD student, in their new publication, The Influence of preterm birth beyond infancy, an umbrella review of outcomes of adolescents and adults born preterm. The article was published online October 18, in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Both authors are nurse practitioners. In terms of implications for practice, they note, "There is a preponderance of evidence that supports targeted screening for a history of preterm birth by all health care providers. This screening should facilitate the promotion of healthy lifestyles and improving psychosocial and neurodevelopmental difficulties through early and continued support services."
The authors call for curriculum and practice standards to advance and include this new body of literature, noting, "Just as recognition of obesity as a significant risk for coronary artery disease began with the 1998 proclamation by the American Heart Association, it is time to make a similar proclamation for preterm birth. Health care providers must recognize the lifelong risk conferred by preterm birth."