|Catch-Up Growth for the Extremely
Alice S. Hill
Kimberly L. Dickerson
Purpose: This retrospective chart review describes the growth of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants after
discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit.
Design: A descriptive design was used to collect data from 60 hospital records.
Results: Gains were noted between assessment periods (discharge – 6 months and 6-12 months) (t = 4.57, t =
5.60, t = 10.77, p < 0.001) for weight, length, and head circumference, respectively. A negative change in weight
(z = -1.9; CI = -3.1, -0.66) within the discharge to 6-month assessment period and a positive change in length
(z = 0.54, CI = 0.05, 1.04) within the 6 to 12-month assessment were noted. Each assessment was significantly
below the 50th percentile of full-term infants with weight at the 7th percentile at 12 months.
Discussion: The ELBW infants showed gains relative to the full-term infant but lagged behind on each growth
parameter at each assessment.