Purpose: To determine the change in behavioral state and physiologic parameters due to Kangaroo Care (K Care).
Method: A quasi-experimental design using a pretest-posttest with neonates serving as their own controls for 4 episodes of 1 hour each: Pre K Care, K Care and Post K Care. Twenty neonate-parent dyads participated. RespiTrace PT Non-invasive Monitoring system was used to record heart and respiratory rate and oxygen saturation. Behavioral state was derived from analyzing RespiTrace PT cardiorespiratory data as well as observation criteria.
Findings: There was a significant increase in sleep time for the neonates during K Care as compared to when they were not receiving K Care. The neonates exhibited less agitation, apnea, and bradycardia episodes and maintained stable oxygen saturation during K Care.
Conclusion: K Care is safe even for very small neonates and is well tolerated. The stability of the preterm infants receiving K Care documents the need to incorporate it into standards of care.