Evid Based Nurs 5:59 doi:10.1136/ebn.5.2.59
  • Prognosis

Children infected with meningitis before 1 year of age were at increased risk of disability at 5 years of age

 QUESTION: In children who had meningitis during their first year of life, what are the sequelae at 5 years of age?


Inception cohort of children who survived an acute attack of meningitis in their first year.


General practices in the UK.


1717 children who contracted meningitis during their first year. Sex and age matched children from the same general practice as the index child formed the control group. Data at 5 years of age were available for 1584 children (92%) who had had meningitis and 1391 control group children (94%).

Assessment of prognostic factors

General practitioners (GPs) completed questionnaires on children, which described problems in health, neuromotor development, learning, vision, hearing, speech and language, behaviour, and presence of seizure disorders. Parents completed questionnaires on their child's health, development, and schooling. Gestational age, birth weight, the organism that caused the meningitis, and age at time of infection were also recorded.

Main outcome measures

Disability (none to severe) at 5 years of age. Children …

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