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Session Overview
Session
Oral Presentation I: "Executive Functions Assessment in Very-preterm Children at School Age: A Clinical and Experimental Battery"
Time:
Monday, 21/Nov/2022:
12:00pm - 12:15pm


Presenting Author: Marion Décaillet

Location: Auditorium Roux


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Presentations

Executive Functions Assessment in Very-preterm Children at School Age: A Clinical and Experimental Battery

Marion Décaillet1,2,3, Solange Denervaud4,5, Cléo Huguenin-Virchaux1,3, Laureline Besuchet1,3, Myriam Bickle Graz1, Céline Fischer1, Juliane Schneider1,3

1Department of Woman-Mother-Child, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; 2The Laboratory for Investigative Neurophysiology (The LINE), Department of Radiology, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; 3The Sense Innovation and Research Center, Lausanne and Sion, Switzerland; 4Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; 5Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM), Lausanne, Switzerland

While the survival rate of very-preterm children has increased in the last decades, they are still at risk to develop long-term neurodevelopmental impairments, especially regarding their self-regulatory and executive abilities. These skills rely on executive functions (EFs), an umbrella term encompassing the core capacities for inhibition, shifting, and memorizing. Comprehensive batteries exist but are time consuming and therefore not suitable for all pediatric neuropsychological assessments. The Flanker Task is an experimental computer-based task that has the advantage to last less than ten minutes while giving multiple EFs measures.

Thirty-one very-preterm children aged 8-10 years benefited from a follow-up visit including a standardized EFs assessment and a child-friendly version of the Flanker Task.

First, we found those very preterm children performed in the high norm for most clinical tests (i.e., WISC-V, BRIEF, and NEPSY) except for the CPT-3 where they were slower and made more omission errors, which could indicate inattentiveness. Second, the Flanker Task scores were correlated with the clinical testing. Finally, in line with previous results, very-preterm children had poorer performance in the global EFs measure than control term children and showed a lower accuracy.

These findings first suggest that very-preterm schoolchildren globally display normal intelligence. However, they present minor difficulties, which seem to relate to EFs. This child-friendly version of the Flanker Task has demonstrated a good sensitivity in capturing executive functioning with good discrimination of mild difficulties and thus could be used in addition to the clinical tests during the neuropsychological assessments or be suitable as a screening test.



 
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