This study evaluated the effects of an innovative educational–behavioral intervention for first-time fathers of late preterm (34–36 weeks' gestation) infants, with the aim of enhancing the infant's environment through strengthening fathers' skills in interaction with their young infant. Using a randomized controlled trial, fathers of 111 late preterm infants were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: 2 home visits intervention (n = 46), 4 home visits intervention (n = 23), or comparison (n = 42). Baseline visits occurred when the infant was 4 months old corrected age, with outcome visits at 8 months corrected age. Intervention consisted of video-recording a father–infant play interaction and providing positive feedback and suggestions to enhance the interaction and language development. Fathers in the 4-visit group scored significantly higher than fathers in the comparison group as measured by the Parent Child Interaction Teaching Scale, Parent Total score. There were no differences between groups for scores on the Parenting Stress Index-3 or What Being the Parent of a Baby Is Like—Evaluation subscale. The video self-modeling intervention has promise for enhancing the skills of fathers of late preterm infants. Further research is needed to determine the long-term effects for the father and the child.
Faculty of Nursing (Dr Benzies and Ms Kurilova) and Departments of Paediatrics and Community Health Sciences (Dr Nettel-Aguirre), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Drs Benzies and Nettel-Aguirre); Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Dr Magill-Evans); Alberta Health Services, Community, Rural and Mental Health, Calgary Zone, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Ms Blahitka) and Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Dr Lacaze-Masmonteil).
Correspondence: Karen Marie Benzies, PhD, RN, Faculty of Nursing, PF2222, 2500 University Dr., NW, University of Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors are grateful to all the families who took part in this study, the investigators, coordinators, research assistants, home visitors, coders, recruiters, hospital staff who welcomed them, and their advisory group. Thanks to Dr. Shirley Leew for her input related to communication development, to Dr. Wendy Yee for providing invaluable input related to recruitment and inclusion criteria, and to Mr. Fred Fountain, Lawrie Edison, and Kevin Saito for assistance with booster dose. Without any one of them, this study would not have been possible. Funding was received from the Alberta Centre for Child, Family, and Community Research and the Preterm Birth and Healthy Outcomes Team (PreHOT) Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Interdisciplinary Team Grant #200700595. Clinical Trials Identifier NCT01056653.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.