Effectiveness of home versus hospital phototherapy for term infants with uncomplicated hyperbilirubinemia: a pilot study in Pahang, Malaysia

Med J Malaysia. 2004 Aug;59(3):395-401.


A comparative pilot study was conducted to determine the difference in the reduction of total serum bilirubin in a group of infants who had phototherapy at home compared to an in-patient group on hospital phototherapy. Eighteen infants with unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia who fitted the selection criteria were put under the mobile home unit (Bluelite Portable Light) placed in the home. A control group of 18 infants with the same matching characteristics had intense phototherapy in the hospital using a unit with top and bottom light sources. The infants were matched for race, starting total serum bilirubin level, birth weight (up to 250 grams) and age of baby at initiation of phototherapy (up to one-day difference). It was observed that the mean daily decrease in serum bilirubin concentration was significantly more in the home group as compared to the hospital group (t=2.95, df=17, P<0.05). The mean duration of treatment was significantly less for the home group as compared to the hospital group (t=2.84, df=17, P<0.05). None of the infants who had home phototherapy were re-hospitalized. Phototherapy related complications were mild and comparable in both groups. The result suggests that home phototherapy is safe and effective in bringing down the concentration of serum bilirubin for term babies with uncomplicated hyperbilirubinaemia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bilirubin / blood
  • Home Care Services
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Hyperbilirubinemia / therapy*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Malaysia
  • Phototherapy
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Bilirubin