Prematurity continues to be the leading cause of neonatal death and developmental disability, highlighting the importance of identifying potential predictors of prematurity as well as interventions that can be linked to the predictors. This review covers recent research on potential psychological, physiological, and biochemical predictors. Among the psychological stressors are depression, anxiety, difficult relationships, and lack of social support. Biochemical predictors include corticotropin-releasing hormone, cortisol, and fetal fibronectin. A program of research that links an intervention for prematurity with a predictor for prematurity, that is, massage therapy to reduce cortisol and, in turn, reduce prematurity, is then presented.
- Corticotropin-releasing hormone
- Fetal fibronectin
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