Rehabilitative training of preterm children’s attention: a study on sustainability

Giovanna Perricone, M. Regina Morales, Concetta Polizzi, Germana Anzalone


This article is concerned with the description of rehabilitative training aimed at severely and moderately preterm children at preschool age who display impairments of processes of selective attention, self-control and problem solving and who are at risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders. In line with a perspective of field study suggested by pediatric psychology, the treatment calls for the involvement of parents, teachers, neonatologists and children’s reference pediatricians. To be more precise, it is a study aimed at investigating the sustainability of the training path in terms of impact and transformative valence of the focalised processes.

Involved in the study was a group of 55 healthy preterm children (35 moderately preterm children and 20 severely preterm children) at mean age of 5.2 years attending the third year of infancy school; a group of 55 mothers; a group of 15 pediatricians; a group of 5 neonatologists and one of 10 teachers. Specific questionnaires (the IPDAG and IPDDAI) were administered to parents and teachers before and after the training sessions to detect the transformation of the focalised processes. According to a modality of continuous observation during the activities, the trainer used techniques of narrative (the critical incident technique) and descriptive (encoding scheme) observation.

A checklist to detect the participation of adults was used. It was structured as follows: presence, production and aftermath of the effects of the personal intervention with child. A telephone follow-up was performed three months after the end of training to detect the involved adults’ considerations about the stability of promoted changes.

Data show good levels of sustainability of the proposed training.


training; preterm children; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) risk; preschool age

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