Grantham McGregor, Sally M.; Powell, Christine A.; Walker, Susan P.; Chang, Susan M.; Fletcher, Patricia D. L.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Metabolism Research Unit
The long term follow up of severely malnourished children who participated in an intervention program
Date of Publication
Compares eighteen severely malnourished children (IM) who participated in a 3-year home-visiting program with 2 other comparison groups comprising 17 severely malnourished (NIM) and 19 adequately nourished children (controls). On enrollment, all the groups were in the same hospital, and both malnourished groups had lower developmental levels than the controls. The IM group received interventioned for 3 years after hospitalization, consisting of weekly or 2 weekly home visits with toy demonstrations. At 7, 8, 9, and 14 years after leaving the hospital, the 3 groups were compared on tests of school achievement and IQ. The NIM group showed no sign of reducing their deficits, and at the 14 year follow up they had markedly lower scores on the WISC verbal and performance scales, the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT), and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), than the controls. Throughout the follow-up the IM group's scores were intermediate between the NIM and the controls in every test. At the 14-year follow up, their scores were significantly higher than those of the NIM group in the WISC verbal scale, and the difference approached significantly in the WRAT. Concludes that psychosocial intervention should be an integral part of treatment for severly malnourished children.....