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    Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and high school performance

    Oei, J.L. and Melhuish, Edward C. and Uebel, H. and Azzam, N. and Breen, C. and Burns, L. and Hilder, L. and Bajuk, B. and Abdel-Latif, M.E. and Ward, M. and Feller, J.M. and Falconer, J. and Clews, S. and Eastwood, J. and Li, A. and Wright, I.M. (2017) Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and high school performance. Pediatrics 139 (2), e20162651. ISSN 0031-4005.

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    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Little is known of the long-term, including school, outcomes of children diagnosed with Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) (International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Problems [10th Edition], Australian Modification, P96.1). METHODS: Linked analysis of health and curriculum-based test data for all children born in the state of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, between 2000 and 2006. Children with NAS (n = 2234) were compared with a control group matched for gestation, socioeconomic status, and gender (n = 4330, control) and with other NSW children (n = 598 265, population) for results on the National Assessment Program: Literacy and Numeracy, in grades 3, 5, and 7. RESULTS: Mean test scores (range 0–1000) for children with NAS were significantly lower in grade 3 (359 vs control: 410 vs population: 421). The deficit was progressive. By grade 7, children with NAS scored lower than other children in grade 5. The risk of not meeting minimum standards was independently associated with NAS (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2–2.7), indigenous status (aOR, 2.2; 95% CI, 2.2–2.3), male gender (aOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.3–1.4), and low parental education (aOR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1–1.6), with all Ps < .001. CONCLUSIONS: A neonatal diagnostic code of NAS is strongly associated with poor and deteriorating school performance. Parental education may decrease the risk of failure. Children with NAS and their families must be identified early and provided with support to minimize the consequences of poor educational outcomes.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2017 08:45
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:32


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