Individual Study / ACTION

ACTION - Accesso alle Cure e Terapie Intensive Ostetrico Neonatali (Access to Obstetrical and Neonatal Intensive Care)

Networks -
Datasets -
Variables -

The ACTION cohort is a prospective area-based cohort started in 2003 in six Italian regions, five of them are eligible for inclusion in the RECAP collaboration (i.e. at least 1 follow-up wave).

The initial study (ACTION 1) recruited all births occurred at 22-31 weeks gestation in the six regions from July 2003 to June 05. Five regions carried out follow-up at 2 years corrected age (ACTION 2). Subsequently, three regions carried out follow-up at school-age (8 – 11 years, ACTION 3).

The main objective of the ACTION project was to collect area-based data on mortality and morbidity, both during the hospitalization in the neonatal unit and afterwards, and explore risk factors, including pre- and perinatal, neonatal and infant variables. Additional objectives (for ACTION 3) were to assess the association between child health and his/her health-related quality of life, use of health care services, and maternal health and wellbeing.


Investigators Contacts
  • Marina Cuttini
    Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital
  • Marina Cuttini
    Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital


Start Year
End Year
Follow Up Is Ongoing
Year of Most Recent Data Collection
New Data Collection planned?


Access to external researchers or third parties neither provided nor foreseen.

Study Design

Study design
Number of Data Collection Events
Number of very preterm (VPT) and/or very low birthweight (VLBW) births included in cohort (live & still births)

Marker Paper

Cuttini M, Caravale B, Carnielli V, Chiandotto V, Contoli B, Corchia C, Da Frè M, Di Lallo D, Ferrazzoli F, Fertz M, Guzzo I, Miniaci S, Mirante N, Piga S, Rusconi F, Buiatti E. A two-year follow-up study of very preterm infants in Italy: aims and study design. Paediatrics and Child Health 2009;19(2):145-52.



The ACTION population comprises all births in FVG, Tuscany, Marche and Lazio. Births in all hospitals with NICUs plus transferred infants in Calabria and Lombardy.
Selection Criteria
  • Italy
Geographical Area
ACTION 1: Lombardy, Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG), Tuscany, Marche, Lazio and Calabria (6 regions)
ACTION 2: FVG, Tuscany, Marche, Lazio and Calabria (5 regions)
ACTION 3: FVG, Tuscany, Lazio (3 regions)
VPT/VLBW Group Inclusion Criteria
All live and still births between 22+0 and 31+6 weeks of gestation in FVG, Tuscany, Marche and Lazio. Live births in Calabria.
Control Group Inclusion Criteria
Italian 2-years children born at term recruited in FVG, Tuscany, Marche, Lazio and Calabria.
VPT/VLBW Group Exclusion Criteria
Control Group Exclusion Criteria
Infants born preterm and those from foreign mothers.
Data Collection Events
# Name Description Start End
0 Perinatal Assessment Perinatal assessment included collection of data on maternal obstetric history and prenatal care, pregnancy complications, delivery room care, pregnancy outcomes, infant condition and ... 2003-07 2005-06
1 2 Year Follow Up At 2 years of age, participants attended a hospital examination to assess general health. This included assessment of health conditions, medication usage at time of follow up, vaccination history, ... 2005-09 2007-10
2 8-11 Year Follow Up 2012-11 2014-12