Background: The implementation of the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) requires great effort. Few studies evaluating staff perception of NIDCAP exist, especially in Southern Europe, and these few studies usually have a low representation of the medical staff.
Aims: Exploration of staff perception (neonatologists, nurses and nursing assistants) of NIDCAP during its implementation and their attitude towards it and intention to put it into practice.
Study design: This study is a descriptive survey measuring staff perceptions of NIDCAP and its effects on their work in two Spanish neonatal level III intensive care units (NICUs). Validated questionnaires were distributed to neonatologists, nurses and nursing assistants of which 305 were completed (response rate: 85%).
Result: Virtually all the items which assess the infant's well being and the parents' role received a positive evaluation. However, three items got slightly negative evaluations: NIDCAP was more time consuming and nurses' working conditions and lighting in the unit were less optimal than in earlier practices. The professionals also had a positive attitude and a willingness to use the NIDCAP. Neonatologists perceived NIDCAP more positively than the nursing staff with statistically significant differences.
Conclusion: The neonatal unit staff in two Spanish NICUs perceived NIDCAP positively. This assessment is more positive for neonatologists than for nurses.
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