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ECHO-NOVI: Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes

Study Information

The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program is a seven-year initiative from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support multiple research studies investigating the effects of environmental factors on child health and development. ECHO will enroll more than 50,000 children across the United States to collect a broad amount of data to help us develop health programs, predict disease development, and create new tools and approaches to monitor both the environment and our children.


Neonatal Neurobehavior and Outcomes in Very Preterm Infants (NOVI) is the name of the study at Women & Infants Hospital. About 600 children from six NOVI study sites - including 111 infants from Women & Infants - will take part in ECHO. We are calling the combination of NOVI and ECHO “ECHO-NOVI.”

What is ECHO-NOVI? 

About one-third of infants born less than 30 weeks suffer long-term developmental challenges. We hope to identify which infants are more likely to become developmentally impaired and determine whether special types of care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and early developmental intervention services after discharge could improve the developmental outcomes for premature infants and their families. To date in the NOVI study, we have collected data on these infant’s early behavioral development up to the age of two. In ECHO-NOVI, we plan to follow these children through age seven to further determine potential mechanisms that lead to developmental and child health outcomes.

How will ECHO-NOVI work? 

ECHO-NOVI will be split into two phases. The first phase will follow the children who are now two through their developmental milestones at three and four years old. Phase II will follow them with annual study visits from five through seven years old. At this time, we are only asking for participation in phase I.

  • Study staff will interview the child’s mother or primary caregiver to discuss the child’s health, behavior and development, the family’s environment, and mom’s well-being since the child’s last NOVI visit.
  • Questionnaires will be completed to collect information on general health, behavior, the environment and development. The child will have developmental exams that look at his/her problem solving abilities, language and motor development. All assessments are conducted by experienced infant-toddler specialists.
  • We will collect biological samples from the child which include cheek cells, urine, hair, saliva, and toe nails. The cheek cell samples contain genetic information that instructs the body’s cells how to function. This will help researchers learn about how genes function and interact with other factors, and how children behave and respond to their environment.
  • All study information is kept confidential.

Contact Information

Interested in participating or want to learn more? 

Please call Erica at (401) 274-1122, ext. 48984 or email For assistance in Spanish, please call Brenda at (401) 274-1122, ext. 48945 or email

Eligibility Criteria


How Can I Participate?

  • To participate in the ECHO-NOVI study, the child must have participated in the NOVI study at Women & Infants Hospital.  
  • We are recruiting NOVI children into the ECHO-NOVI study at age two. If your NOVI child missed the two year window and you would like to participate in the ECHO-NOVI study, please contact us.


Participants will receive $100 at the completion of each visit in phase I for their time and cooperation. The child will receive a small gift of appreciation for his/her participation. We can help with transportation to and from the visit if you need it.

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Women & Infants

Area of Study

Recruitment Status