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The Effects of Kangaroo Care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on the Physiological Functions of Preterm Infants, Maternal-Infant Attachment, and Maternal Stress

The Effects of Kangaroo Care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on the Physiological Functions of Preterm Infants, Maternal-Infant Attachment, and Maternal Stress

Journal of Pediatric Nursing 31(4): 430-438

This study was conducted to identify the effects of kangaroo care on the physiological functions of preterm infants, maternal-infant attachment, and maternal stress. For this study, a quasi-experiment design was used with a nonequivalent control group, and a pre- and post-test. Data were collected from preterm infants with corrected gestational ages of ≥33weeks who were hospitalized between May and October 2011. Twenty infants were assigned to the experimental group and 20 to the control group. As an intervention, kangaroo care was provided in 30-min sessions conducted thrice a week for a total of 10 times. The collected data were analyzed by using the t test, repeated-measures ANOVA, and the ANCOVA test. After kangaroo care, the respiration rate significantly differed between the two groups (F=5.701, p=.020). The experimental group had higher maternal-infant attachment scores (F=25.881, p<.001) and lower maternal stress scores (F=47.320, p<.001) than the control group after the test. In other words, kangaroo care showed significantly positive effects on stabilizing infant physiological functions such as respiration rate, increasing maternal-infant attachment, and reducing maternal stress. This study suggests that kangaroo care can be used to promote emotional bonding and support between mothers and their babies, and to stabilize the physiological functions of premature babies. Kangaroo care may be one of the most effective nursing interventions in the neonatal intensive care unit for the care of preterm infants and their mothers.

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Accession: 059004320

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PMID: 26975461

DOI: 10.1016/j.pedn.2016.02.007

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