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Birth. 1989 Mar;16(1):23-6.

A tool for educating parents about their premature infants.


This study examined the effectiveness of intervening with parents of premature infants by showing them examples of newborns' sensory, perceptual, and social capabilities. Fourteen couples and their premature infants, divided into an intervention group and a nonintervention group, were studied. Parents in the intervention group observed an assessment of premature infant behavior (APIB) examination and received feedback from the examiner prior to completing a parental assessment battery; the nonintervention group did not observe the APIB examination until after they completed the assessment battery. The assessment battery measured parental anxiety, perceptions, and awareness of neonatal behavior. Comparisons between the two groups revealed (a) intervention fathers reported significantly lower anxiety than did nonintervention fathers, (b) intervention mothers and fathers had significantly more realistic perceptions of their newborn compared to nonintervention parents, and (c) intervention mothers had significantly more accurate awareness of their newborns' abilities than nonintervention mothers, and intervention fathers had higher, but nonsignificant, awareness scores compared to nonintervention fathers. Having parents observe the administration of the APIB may be an effective way to educate them about their premature infant's behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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