The cognitive development of children whose mothers had been included in the first Auckland trials of betamethasone therapy in premature labor were studied. An earlier study of these children used psychometric tests during the fifth year of life. In the present study tests were given during the seventh year of life (the second year of school) to 250 (82.2%) of 304 surviving children. Of the 250 children, 139 were in the group whose mothers had received betamethasone and 111 were in the control group. Further tests of cognitive development were made, together with assessment of the children's progress in school. Again, on the majority of measures there were no significant differences between children whose mothers had received betamethasone and the children in the control group. Calculations of statistical power showed that important differences were unlikely to have been missed.
- Received August 31, 1981.
- Accepted January 11, 1982.
- Copyright © 1982 by the American Academy of Pediatrics