Factors Influencing Implementation of Developmental Care Among NICU Nurses in China

Clin Nurs Res. 2016 Jun;25(3):238-53. doi: 10.1177/1054773814547229. Epub 2014 Aug 24.


The main aim of this article is to describe current developmental care nursing practices among registered nurses (RNs) working in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in China and to explore selected personal and unit characteristics related to developmental care implementation. A convenience sample of 207 RNs participated in this descriptive, cross-sectional exploratory study. A tool of Practice Standards for Individualized, Family-Centered Developmental Care was used to collect the data. The findings indicate that Chinese NICU nurses are not implementing developmental care consistently. Higher patient caseloads, fewer work hours per day, higher level of education, and fewer years worked in NICUs are the significant predictors for lower implementation of developmental care. NICU nurses in China currently carry out developmental care based mainly on their accumulated clinical experience rather than their educational experience. More systematic developmental care training for NICU nurses and more support at both unit and hospital levels are necessary in China.

Keywords: China; developmental care; neonatal intensive care; premature infant.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • China
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / organization & administration
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neonatal Nursing / education*
  • Neonatal Nursing / organization & administration
  • Surveys and Questionnaires