EPICE-PT - Effective Perinatal Intensive Care in Europe – Portugal

Henrique Barros


The very preterm birth cohort (EPICE-PT) was created in 2011, as part of the European project EPICE (Effective Perinatal Intensive Care in Europe).

In Portugal, 544 children who were born very preterm (<32 weeks gestational age), between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012, in the Northern region and in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region, are part of the EPICE cohort.

These children and their families have been frequently followed up since hospital discharge, and annual follow-up assessments have been performed from the first to the fifth year of life, and at seven and eight years of age.

The overall aim is to characterise the health status of these children and to obtain evidence-based knowledge that will enable healthcare professionals to act in an informed way, to avoid complications in the early years of life and to scientifically advance our understanding of the factors that may determine the future of these children.

Information on child health and development has been collected through structured questionnaires administered to primary caregivers.

In addition, and with the aim of evaluating the impact of screening and follow-up programmes on the health, care and quality of life of children and their families, the European project ‘Screening to improve Health In very Preterm infants in Europe’ (SHIPS) has been developed and has provided detailed information on the neurodevelopment of these children at 5 years of age.

The data provided is an important source on the health, care, well-being and quality of life of infants born very preterm and their families, allowing numerous research questions to be answered, which have already resulted in a large number of published scientific articles.

EPICE-PT is the first community based and geographically extended cohort of very preterm births in Portugal. You can learn more about the EPICE-PT cohort here.



Teixeira R , Rodrigues C , Moreira C , Barros H

, Teixeira, R., Rodrigues, C., Moreira, C. et al. Machine learning methods to predict attrition in a population-based cohort of very preterm infants. Sci Rep 12, 10587 (2022).

Costa R , Aubert AM, Seppänen AV, Ådén U, Sarrechia L, Zemlin M, Cuttini M, Männamaa M, Pierrat V, van Heijst A , Barros H , Johnson S, Zeitlin J , SHIPS Research Group

Dev Med Child Neurol, 2022 Mar 17. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.15202. Online ahead of print.

Rodrigues C , Zeitlin J, Zemlin M , Wilson E, Pedersen P , Barros H , Effective Perinatal Intensive Care in Europe (EPICE) Research Group

Matern Child Nutr, 2022 Mar 16;e13347. doi: 10.1111/mcn.13347. Online ahead of print.


Main Results


Ana Raquel Carvalho
Research Support - EPICE - PT - Very preterm birth Cohort


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