EPICure at Six Years

The third study involved children being assessed at school between 5.5 and 7 years of age. The study was co-ordinated in Nottingham by Mrs Heather Palmer.

For this phase of the project it was decided to try to see children in their school environment to see how they were settling in and to see if being at school had identified any new problems that were not apparent at 2.5 years

We attempted to trace all the children at 6 years of age: 15 were living abroad and we were unable to contact a further 29 families. 241 (78%) families allowed us to contact their child's school to arrange an assessment.

Some schools were unable to accommodate us and for these we saw the child in an outpatient clinic. A few parents asked in advance for us to see their child outside of school and these happened either in an outpatient clinic or at home.

Each assessment involved the child being seen by a paediatrician and a psychologist who also assessed another, non prematurely born child, on the same day. The other child was often a classmate. The two children were not compared as individuals but the results of the assessments of each group were compared. Following the assessment, the parents of each child who had been assessed were sent a report detailing the findings of both paediatrician and psychologist. They were sent two copies of the report in case they wished to pass one onto the school or their GP.

Once we had completed all this we had to score up all the tests and start the analysis. These results are published in medical journals and have been reported in the news and on television for example the BBC's panorama programme.