Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Newborn Care

Developmental Follow-Up

 Developmental Follow-Up Clinic



 The Developmental Follow-Up Clinic operates Monday to Friday and performs 3 distinct roles:

  •  Early detection of abnormal neurodevelopment and initiation of appropriate therapies.
  •  Continuing quality assurance for NICU outcomes.
  •  Follow-up data for perinatal research.

The follow-up team consists of a nurse coordinator (Claudia Schwatlo), Developmental Paediatrician (Dr Ingrid Rieger), Clinical Psychologist (Dr Crista Wocadlo), Paediatric Physiotherapist (Caroline Hardman) and one of the current Neonatal Fellows.

Inclusion criteria

Since the early 80s, babies at risk of abnormal neurodevelopment have been offered follow-up following discharge from the neonatal nursery. There have been minor variations in the inclusion criteria during this period but these are currently the following groups:

  • Less than 30 weeks gestation
  • Preterm infants whose birth weight is
  • Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (group 2–3)
  • Chronic near to lung disease
  •  Other babies of neurological concern

Babies not qualifying for the developmental follow-up clinic are offered individualised follow-up at the discretion of the Attending Medical Officer (AMO).

 Follow-up schedule (less than 30 weeks gestation)

Corrected age is used until 2 years of age:

  • 6 weeks (physical examination)
  • 4 months (medical and physiotherapy)
  • 8 months (medical, physiotherapy, visual testing)
  • 1 year (medical and developmental)
  • 3 years (medical and developmental assessment)
  • 5 years (medical and psychometric assessment, vision and hearing)
  • 8 years (cognitive; educational, neuropsychometric, gross motor assessment) 

Babies enrolled in follow-up for indications other than being less than 30 weeks gestation are folllowed according to an individual schedule according to need.