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Nurs Res. 1991 May-Jun;40(3):150-5.

Outcomes of developmentally supportive nursing care for very low birth weight infants.

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  • 1School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Numerous aspects of the intensive care environment are stressful for low birth weight infants and may play a role in adverse developmental and behavioral outcome. The purpose of this study was to determine whether staff education in care protocols designed to make the environment less stressful and thereby support the infant's development would improve short-term outcomes. Twenty-one infants (less than 1,501 gms) were studied during the preeducation period and 24 infants were studied following staff education. The educational program successfully altered nursing care. Experimental infants had more optimal respiratory and feeding status, lower levels of morbidity, shorter hospitalization, and improved behavioral organization.

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