Is the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) effective for preterm infants with intrauterine growth restriction?

J Perinatol. 2011 Feb;31(2):130-6. doi: 10.1038/jp.2010.81. Epub 2010 Jul 22.


Objective: This study investigates the effectiveness of the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) on neurobehavioral and electrophysiological functioning of preterm infants with severe intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).

Study design: Thirty IUGR infants, 28 to 33 weeks gestational age, randomized to standard care (control/C=18), or NIDCAP (experimental/E=12), were assessed at 2 weeks corrected age (2wCA) and 9 months corrected age (9mCA) in regard to health, anthropometrics, and neurobehavior, and additionally at 2wCA in regard to electrophysiology (EEG).

Result: The two groups were comparable in health and anthropometrics at 2wCA and 9mCA. The E-group at 2wCA showed significantly better autonomic, motor, and self-regulation functioning, improved motility, intensity and response thresholds, and reduced EEG connectivity among several adjacent brain regions. At 9mCA, the E-group showed significantly better mental performance.

Conclusion: This is the first study to show NIDCAP effectiveness for IUGR preterm infants.

Trial registration: NCT00914108.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Brain* / growth & development
  • Brain* / physiopathology
  • Child Development*
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / prevention & control
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / physiopathology*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / standards*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Standard of Care

Associated data