Comparison of kangaroo care and standard care: behavioral organization, development, and temperament in healthy, low-birth-weight infants through 1 year

J Perinatol. Jul-Aug 2002;22(5):374-9. doi: 10.1038/


Objective: To determine whether Kangaroo Care (KC) for healthy, low-birth-weight (LBW) infants can promote better behavioral and developmental outcomes.

Study design: In this historical control study, 26 infants in the KC group (GA: 34.3+/-2.5 weeks, BW: 1833.9+/-167.6 g) and 27 infants in the comparison group who received the standard medical-nursing care (34.6+/-2.3 weeks, 1850.9+/-156.7 g) were analyzed by the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) at 40 weeks of postmenstrual age, the Bayley Scales of Infant Development and the Carey's Infant Temperament Questionnaire (ITQ) at 6 and 12 months corrected ages.

Results: KC infants had significantly higher NBAS scores in Orientation, State Regulation, and Supplementary items; lower Intensity scores and higher Mood scores at 6 months on the ITQ; and higher Bayley Scales score at 12 months.

Conclusion: KC effectively promoted neonatal behavioral organization and enhanced developmental outcome over the first year of life for LBW infants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Child Development*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Behavior*
  • Infant Care / methods*
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Temperament*
  • Touch*