It’s on again! In July 2022, recruitment for the latest group of VICS study families began. All babies born extremely preterm (before 28 weeks gestation) or extremely low birth weight (less than 1000g) in Victoria between the 1st July 2022 and 30th June 2023 will be invited to participate in our longitudinal project that dates back four decades. We will also be recruiting normal birth weight, term born infants as a comparison group.
Since the 1970s there have been six VICS participant recruitments which have been followed from birth, throughout their childhood and some into adulthood to determine how extreme prematurity/extremely low birth weight and intensive care affects infants long-term.
Our 2022/23 participant cohort will look at long term outcomes for children (including cognition, behavioural and physical development), and for parents including mental health and quality of life. This study will also provide important information on how recent changes in care (recommending active neonatal care for infants born as early as 22 weeks gestation) and the COVID-19 pandemic have influenced outcomes for premature babies and their parents.
This information will help children (such as by identifying infants who may need additional developmental support, and by planning and evaluating services for these infants throughout Victoria) and their parents by directing resources for parents who may need additional emotional support following the birth of a premature infant in the future.
Every family will be provided with a detailed information statement to read and a consent form to complete. Next parents will complete some brief questionnaires, either in the nursery or at home.
Once your baby is two years of age, we will invite you to bring them in to one of our participating locations to see a developmental paediatrition and an allied health professional who will review your child’s growth, health and general development. Every family receives a summary of your child’s visit. We may invite you to bring your child in for another review in their early primary school years and again in adolescence.
There is no cost to you for participating in the VICS project.
If you have any question about participating in the VICS 2022/23 recruitment, please contact either of our Research Nurse Coordinators: Marion McDonald (+61 432 754 762) or Tania Woods (+61 401 510 647).