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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1981 Jul;169(7):448-55.

Social and sensory environment of low birth weight infants in a special care nursery. An anthropological investigation.


Ten infants of 900 to 1500 gram birthweight and 28 to 32 weeks gestational age were observed for a total of 552 hours in an intensive care nursery. Auditory environment and tactile experience were recorded by tape recorder and observers' notes for a period of 24 consecutive hours at weekly intervals in each of the first 3 weeks of life. Besides regular recording of heart rate and motor activity, episodic events were also noted such as interaction with staff or parents, or periods of apnea. Results are primarily descriptive of this environment, denoting sound level of ground noise, kinds of sounds that penetrate the isolette, responses of the infants to these sounds, differences in auditory environment with different caretakers, and motor activity as related to auditory and tactile events. In response to questions of the usefulness of sensory stimulation programs for preterm infants, these descriptive results suggest some of the deficiencies and complexities of this life experience at this gestational age, and suggest some areas for further research as well as for clinical management of premature infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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