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J Pediatr. 1980 May;96(5):933-40.

Self-help groups in a premature nursery-a controlled evaluation.


This study examined the effect discussion groups, held in a neonatal intensive care unit with parents of very small premature infants, had on various measures of later parenting competence. Twenth-eight families who met for seven to ten weeks with a nurse co-ordinator and a "veteran mother" who had given birth to a premature infant within the past year were compared with 29 control families. Parents who had participated in the groups visited their infants significantly more often in hospital than did the control parents. They also touched, talked, and looked at their infants in the en face position more during their visits, and rated themselves as more competent on a number of infant care measures. Three months after discharge of the infants, group mothers continued to show more involvement with their babies during feedings and were more concerned about their general development. The implications of such self-help groups for the later development of high-risk premature infants is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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