Objective: To describe the association between an individualized psychosocial parental support (PPS) program and short-term clinical outcomes of extremely low-birth-weight (ELBW) infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Methods: Medical records of ELBW infants (<1000 g) hospitalized in the NICU at Miami Children's Hospital between July 2006 and June 2008 were reviewed. Outborn infants admitted during their first 72 h of life and discharged home were included. Parents were divided in two groups according to their participation status in the PPS program. Neonatal outcomes in both groups were compared.
Results: Forty-one infants were included (n = 41). Mean gestational age was 26.7±2 weeks, and birth weight was 860±125 g. Median length of stay (LOS) was 96 days (quartile range: 76-112 days). PPS was provided to 33.3% of these infants' parents. The median LOS in the PPS group was significantly lower than in control group (86 vs. 99 days; p < 0.05). No other differences in short-term neonatal outcomes were found.
Conclusions: The addition of individualized psychosocial parent support programs to standard care in the NICU may reduce LOS in surviving infants discharged home. Further larger and randomized prospective studies are needed.