Purpose: To determine the safety of a developmental intervention for use with preterm infants and feasibility of a time sampling procedure.
Methodology: An experimental design was used to test an intervention with clinically stable 33-34-week postconceptional age infants over a 4-day period. Repeated outcome measures included pulse rate, oxygen saturation levels, and infant behavioral state.
Findings: The intervention resulted in significant differences in infant behavioral state with the experimental group achieving more alertness. Physiologic parameters remained within normal limits both during and after the intervention.
Conclusions: The protocol was found to be safe for implementation with clinically stable preterm infants. Behavioral state findings suggest the potential for the intervention to promote alertness. Results suggest that changes in oxygen saturation and pulse rate were dependent upon changes in behavioral state.