A brochure for families and the general public on the results of the SHIPS study on follow-up and health care at five-years of age for children born very preterm in Europe is now available.

The European SHIPS project – « Screening to improve Health In very Preterm InfantS in Europe » had a mission to study the availability and use of evidence-based* health care, follow-up and prevention programmes for children born very preterm. The project is a European research collaboration which includes 6792 children born before 32 weeks of pregnancy in 19 regions in 11 European countries. In France, three regions participated to the SHIPS project, by including children participating in the Epipage 2.

*Evidence-based health care is a way of providing health care that is guided by a thoughtful integration of the best available scientific knowledge with clinical expertise.

The data collection took place when the children were five years old and consisted of four different studies. One of those is the “Study of Health and Wellbeing at age 5”. The results of this study are those presented in the brochure below.


Clic to download the brochure in English


Find more information on the SHIPS website: https://epiceproject.eu/en/

Main results and conclusions:

There are social or geographic disparities in the care and follow-up of children born very preterm in Europe.

  1. Because follow-up programmes aim to facilitate access to care and interventions, having continued follow-up until five years may help families to receive the most appropriate care for their children born very preterm.
  2. Families with social risk factors were less likely to use routine follow-up services for children born very preterm.
  3. There are many aspects in the long-term care for children born very preterm that can be improved in all the 11 study countries, including standardised content and duration of follow-up, ensuring care coordination and promoting better communication between parents and care providers.
  4. More research is needed on optimal follow-up for children born very preterm and their parents. This research should include the opinions and life experiences of preterm individuals and their families.