The effect of formal exposure to developmental care principles on the implementation of developmental care
The preterm infant requires developmental care that is designed to minimise the stress that the infant experiences within the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The aim of the study was to determine the effect of formal exposure to developmental care principles on the implementation of developmental care positioning and handling of the preterm infant by neonatal nurses. The first objective of the study was to compile an accurate scale for measuring the implementation of these principles with respect to the handling and positioning of the infant. Secondly, the study aimed at determining changes in the implementation of developmental care principles within a selected NICU after neonatal nurses were formally exposed to developmental care training. A quasi-experimental research design and a one-group pre-test-post-test approach were followed, and the Wilcoxon matched-pair signed-rank tests were used to examine the changes. Results were statistically significant and indicated improvement with respect to the developmental care components that were measured. The recommendation was that developmental care principles be integrated into formal neonatal courses. Follow-up studies should be conducted to determine the reliability of the instrument for possible inclusion in routine assessment of the quality of the implementation of developmental care in the NICU.
Keywords: developmental care; developmental care positioning; developmental care handling; preterm infants; training exposure
Health SA Gesondheid Vol. 10 (2) 2005: pp. 24-33
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