VICS Studies


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.

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.

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.

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).


Babies in beaniesWe last saw the 2016-2017 VICS study group for two-year-old assessments.

At two years corrected age, families within this study group were contacted to bring their children along to their participating centre to see a paediatrician and a psychologist. The paediatrician asked families about their child’s past and current health, and a full medical examination took place during the visit.

Children completed a variety of activities with the psychologist, including quizzes and puzzles designed to be interesting and enjoyable for children.

The child psychologist used a series of fun games to evaluate each child’s thinking and understanding, speaking and comprehension, hand and leg movement and coordination.

Parents were asked to complete some online questionnaires and were provided with written feedback after the appointment.

A big thank you to all of our participating families. We hope to see you again when your children are at school. If you have changed your contact details, please get in touch using the Contact Us button at the top of this page.


Mother and children reading deviceWe were last in contact with the 1997 VICS study group when they were around 18 years of age. In this study, we asked this group of young people to complete a short online questionnaire focused on how they see their own health and wellbeing. It was encouraging to see that the preterm group saw their own health and wellbeing to be similar to that of the group who were born full term.

Thank you to those participants who completed these questionnaires for us.  We expect to contact this group again in a few years’ time to assess how they are progressing.  If you have changed your contact details, please get in touch using the Contact Us button at the top of this page.


We last saw our participants who were born in 1991 and 1992 in 2018. A very big thank you to those who participated. Our participants underwent a range of assessments that included cardiac, breathing, exercise, and psychological testing. We are very appreciative of the day you spent with us.

This study helped us understand how our preterm young adults were doing compared with the group who were born full term. We hope to contact the group for another follow-up in your 30s. Please contact us if your contact details have changed.


Adult and child playing with doll

The 2005 VICS study group were assessed at around 8 years of age to determine their health and development at early school age. Previously this group had been assessed at 2 years of age.

We have learnt a lot about how our preterm children were doing at school age relative to children who were born full term.

Again, a big thank you to our families who participated.  We expect to contact this group again in a few years’ time to assess how they are progressing. If you have changed your contact details, please get in touch using the Contact Us button at the top of this page.Child standing on a podium


Parent feeding baby with a bottle

The participants in this group were reviewed at ages 2, 5, 8 and 14 years. Participants who were born at the Royal Women’s Hospital were also reviewed between 18 and 22 years of age.

Those who participated in the study as young adults would have met with Brenda and Kate either at the Royal Children’s Hospital or in Brisbane at the Mater Hospital. Our follow-up focussed particularly on growth, blood pressure, and breathing ability. Since then, results from this follow-up have appeared in scientific journals, and some have appeared in the general press as well. We do not anticipate seeing this group again.

We have really enjoyed getting to know you all over the years and would like to thank you and your families for your previous involvement in this study.


The participants in this group were reviewed at ages 2, 5, and 8 years.

Our follow-up focussed particularly on growth, development, and school progress. Some children also had breathing tests. Results from this group have helped to track the trajectory of change in outcomes as intensive care for babies has evolved over time. All follow-up assessments for this group have now finished.


Years of birth and ages of assessments of Victorian cohorts
Non-italicised numbers indicate ages at which assessments have been completed. Italicised numbers indicate ages for future or current studies.

Year of Birth Ages assessed (years)
1979-80 2 5 8 14
1985-87 2 5 8
1991-92 2 5 8 18 25
1997 2 8 15-16  
2005 2 7 14  
2016-17 2 8
Victorian Infant Collaborative Study

Victorian Infant Collaborative Study