Infants born with a gestational age < 32 weeks have an increased risk of a variety of developmental disorders. Both delayed motor development and cerebral palsy may be seen in preterm children. Lower gestational age and birth weight increase the incidence of serious developmental abnormalities. High quality research on effects of physical therapy performed before infants reach term age when brain plasticity is believe to be greatest is sparse. Because preterm infants have such a high risk of developing motor disorders, it is essential that more research is carried out to determine which types of early physical therapy can help to prevent or lessen movement difficulties in prematurely born children.
From left to right Toril Fjørtoft, MSc, Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy MNFF, Physical Therapist, Tordis Ustad, MSc, Clinical Specialist Pediatric Physical Therapy MNFF, Physical Therapist and Randi Tynes Vågen, Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy MNFF, Physical Therapist. All three are working at the University Hospital, Trodnheim.