O campo de estudo sobre prematuridade no Banco de Teses da Capes: produção científica e redes de colaboração em Educação Especial
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Diverse factors can compromise the growth and development of individuals including preterm birth. The literature from the area has indicated that children born prematurely may present altered growth and development, mental retardation and learning disabilities. Thus, preterm birth has been studied in diverse scientific fields including Special Education. In this field the studies focus on primary, secondary and tertiary attention, thus contributing to the prevention of deficiencies, to education strategies and to intervention procedures. The present research aims to verify what composes the field of preterm-birth studies in Brazil, from the Capes Thesis Registry, and also to assess the scientific collaboration networks at the intersection between Special Education and preterm births. The study is structured into two steps denominated Study 1 and Study 2. Study 1 corresponds to bibliometric analysis of scientific production on premature birth available in the Capes Theses Database with the objective of reporting the State of the Art in producing knowledge on this theme as reflected in Brazilian theses and dissertations. The methodology of Study 1 was developed in five steps: step 1: construction of a theoretical reference by reading the scientific texts from the areas of Special Education, Information Science and Preterm Birth to provide a scientific basis for the research; step 2: data collection sourced from abstracts of theses and dissertations available in the Capes Theses Database that presented the preterm topic, between 1987 and 2009; step 3: organization, treatment and construction of bibliometric indicators from the registries; step 4: analysis and interpretation of the results found, capturing the concepts exposed in the theoretical reference on scientific production on preterm birth to underpin the analyses of the data obtained. Study 2 corresponds to preterm-birth scientific collaboration networks in the Special Education field. The method of Study 2 involved identification of registries belonging to the Graduate Programs or research lines in Special Education. It was possible to identify 10 registries pertaining to the Graduate Program in Special Education of the Federal University of Sao Carlos and two linked to the Graduate Programs in Education, with research line directed toward Special Education, representing, respectively, the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM). From these twelve registries were selected the curricula of the professors directing the theses and dissertations to compose the scientific collaboration network. The results of Study 1 reveal: increase in scientific production involving the topic during the study period (1987 to 2009); the production is mostly represented by Masters theses; the most highlighted institution was the University of Sao Paulo, rendering the southeast the most prominent region of the country. In relation to the large areas of knowledge, scientific production on preterm birth is concentrated in the Health Sciences area linked to programs in Medicine and Nursing. CAPES, CNPq and FAPESP were the primary funding agencies. As to the gender of thesis and dissertation authors, 79.8% are female and 20.2% male. It was also found that the predominant risk conception is medical/biological while the predominant study locations were neonatal intensive treatment units. The most frequent objectives were studies on aspects of breastfeeding, nutrition, suckling, weaning, periodontal diseases and milk composition. The majority of these studies were directed at preterm cases of gestational time from 31 to 34 weeks and with very low weight (>1500g). The results of Study 2 revealed that production via partnership, identified in the analyzed interface, is a trend in the academic environment; there are few relationships among the advisors or among the institutions that participated in the present study; as a counterpart, within the groups formed, we observed not only scientific collaboration between the different institutions but also a strong relationship between the advisor and advisee. The results presented herein contributed to a portrayal of the field of preterm-birth studies in Brazil which enables visualization of the potentialities and gaps in this knowledge area, to motivate researchers to seek new data sources, and when relevant and desirable, collaborative partnerships between research group and institutions.