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Effect of Nursing Education on Positioning of Infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Perkins, Emmi BScPT; Ginn, Lesley BScPT; Fanning, Jamie Kneale MClSc; Bartlett, Doreen J. PhD

Pediatric Physical Therapy:
Research Report
Abstract

Purpose: To determine the effect of different forms of education on nurses’ abilities to position neonates in a developmentally supportive way and to determine nurses’ perceptions of effectiveness of educational methods to enhance their positioning abilities.

Method: In a one-group, repeated-measures, alternating-treatment design, the effectiveness of nurses’ abilities to position neonates in the context of developmentally supportive care before and after different education approaches was scored using an instrument designed for this study. A self-administered survey was conducted with nurses to examine perceptions of positioning-related issues.

Results: Formal education methods such as in-services and workshops improved nurses’ abilities to position neonates in developmentally supportive positions; however, improvements declined in the absence of ongoing education. Nurses perceived workshops, physical therapy in-services, and bedside consultation to be more useful than audiovisual resources, independent reading, or general hospital in-services.

Conclusion: The results suggest that the physical therapist’s role as a consultant is important to ensure continued performance of developmentally supportive care with respect to positioning of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit.

In Brief

This study of the physical therapist’s role reveals that therapists must continue to provide consultation to nurses to ensure appropriate positioning of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Author Information

School of Physical Therapy The University of Western Ontario (E.P, L.G., and D.J.B). Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, St. Joseph’s Health Care (J.K.F.), London, Ontario, Canada

Address correspondence to: Jamie Kneale Fanning, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Developmental Follow-up Clinic, St. Joseph’s Health Care, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, Ontario, Canada N6A4V2. Email: jamie.fanning@sjhc.london.on.ca

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.