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J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 1999 Dec;13(3):83-109.

Infant handling in the NICU: does developmental care make a difference? An evaluative review of the literature.

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Perinatal Research Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Infant handling and disruptions in the neonatal intensive care unit are environmental stressors over which nurses have the most control. Two of the major goals of developmental care are individualizing care by decreasing infant disruptions and handling by caregivers, and modulating or attenuating infant responses to the care they receive. However, it has yet to be established to what extent these goals have been achieved. This article will provide a comparative review of selected literature to ascertain what effect, if any, the introduction of developmental care has had on infant handling or disruption in the neonatal intensive care unit.

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