The effect of developmental care on preterm infant outcome

Appl Nurs Res. 1997 Nov;10(4):190-7. doi: 10.1016/s0897-1897(97)80572-1.


Using a retrospective comparative design, the investigators evaluated the effects of training 10% of a nursing staff in the Neonatal Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) on preterm infant outcomes. A convenience sample of 25 preterm infants (< 1500 grams) cared for during the NIDCAP implementation and training period were matched by birth weight and gestational age to infants born before NIDCAP implementation. Outcome measures collected through chart review showed NIDCAP infants had significantly fewer and less severe intraventricular hemorrhages, fewer days of ventilatory support, shorter hospitalizations, and greater rate of weight gain. Findings suggest that benefits of developmental care are achievable with only a portion of the staff being NIDCAP trained.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / growth & development*
  • Inservice Training*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods*
  • Male
  • Pediatric Nursing / education*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Retrospective Studies