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Table 4 The frequency of mental health problems (CIMHS) in children born preterm (<37 weeks), low birth weight (<2500 g) and low Apgar score (<10 scores at 5 min) reference group children without mental health problems (N = 2973)

From: A new measure for infant mental health screening: development and initial validation

   Preterm p-value Low birth weight p-value Low Apgar score p-value
% (n) % (n) % (n)
Sleep regulation Stable sleeping pattern 7.4 (12) 0.23 3.7 (5) 0.40 5.5 (9) 0.93
Falling asleep time 1.8 (3) 0.60 1.5 (2) 0.43 0.6 (1) 0.11
Interrupted sleep 1.2 (2) 0.05* 2.2 (3) 0.25 1.8 (3) 0.12
Any sleeping problem (≥1 problem) 7.9 (14) 0.58 4.7 (7) 0.06 6.6 (11) 0.15
Eating Appetite regulation 5.5 (9) 0.57 8.2 (11) 0.44 5.5 (9) 0.54
Eats too little 6.1 (10) 0.07 9.6 (13) 0.84 6.1 (10) 0.07
Refusal to eat 5.5 (9) 0.06 6.0 (8) 0.13 19.9 (18) 0.59
Vomiting without otherwise being ill 5.5 (9) 0.07 6.0 (8) 0.05* 2.4 (4) 0.60
Any eating problem (≥1 problem) 16.3 (29) 0.45 20.7 (28) 0.87 18.7 (31) 0.62
Emotional regulation Generally happy and satisfied 2.4 (4) 0.08 0.7 (1) 0.72 1.2 (2) 0.80
Often irritable, fussy, dissatisfied 18.9 (31) 0.04* 14.9 (20) 0.64 14.5 (24) 0.73
Cries often 1.2 (2) 0.67 1.5 (2) 0.91 1.2 (2) 0.67
Emotionally blunted 0.0 (0) 0.41 0.0 (0) 0.46 0.6 (1) 0.64
Any emotional problem (≥1 problem) 18.5 (33) 0.03* 15.6 (21) 0.70 15.1 (25) 0.81
Curiosity and interest Attention Curiosity, exploring 0.0 (0) 0.80 0.0 (0) 0.75 0.0 (0) 0.73
Is able to focus 1.2 (2) 0.95 1.5 (2) 0.71 1.8 (3) 0.42
Maintain concentration 3.1 (5) 0.66 3.0 (4) 0.74 3.0 (5) 0.67
Easily distracted 16.8 (27) 0.56 12.2 (16) 0.34 13.8 (22) 0.61
Any attention problem (≥1 problem) 15.7 (28) 0.73 11.9 (16) 0.16 14.5 (24) 0.51
Motor activity Generally increased level of activity 4.2 (7) 0.40 4.5 (6) 0.54 4.3 (7) 0.42
Generally reduced level of activity 3.0 (5) 0.003* 1.5 (2) 0.51 1.8 (3) 0.24
Impulsiveness 1.9 (3) 0.15 3.0 (4) 0.53 4.3 (7) 0.90
Any motor activity problem (≥1 problem) 7.9 (14) 0.61 8.9 (12) 0.73 10.2 (17) 0.84
Communication and Interaction Eye contact 0.0 (0) 0.73 0.0 (0) 0.70 0.0 (0) 0.67
Contact smile 1.2 (2) 0.95 0.8 (1) 0.65 1.8 (3) 0.42
Proximity seeking (parents) 0.0 (0) 0.46 0.0 (0) 0.48 1.2 (2) 0.46
Mutual communication (parents) 2.6 (4) 0.89 3.1 (4) 0.83 3.1 (5) 0.80
Joint attention 19.2 (30) 0.37 16.9 (22) 0.90 14.3 (23) 0.43
Bodily contact 1.2 (2) 0.51 1.5 (2) 0.33 1.2 (2) 0.51
Selectivity 3.8 (6) 0.83 3.8 (5) 0.86 3.7 (6) 0.86
Any interaction problem (≥1 problem) 21.4 (38) 0.43 21.5 (29) 0.86 18.1 (30) 0.36
Language Language understanding 13.0 (21) <0.0001* 11.3 (15) 0.0004* 3.7 (6) 0.48
Verbal expression 7.9 (13) 0.19 8.2 (11) 0.18 7.3 (12) 0.31
Any language problem (≥1 problem) 16.3 (29) 0.0001* 14.8 (20) 0.02* 10.8 (18) 0.48
Percent with three or more problems   23.3 (38) 0.07 20.9 (27) 0.46 16.9 (28) 0.79
  1. CIMHS Copenhagen Infant Mental Health Screening. * p-value <0.05