Skin-to-skin contact between mother and infant, commonly referred to as Kangaroo Care (KC), has demonstrated efficacy as a pain-relieving strategy for infants, yet, it remains underutilized in clinical practice.
To evaluate changes in neonatal intensive care unit staff nurse beliefs, utilization, and challenges related to practice change in implementing KC as an intervention for management of procedural pain in preterm infants between 2 time points.
Nurses who participated in a larger clinical trial examining the sustained efficacy of KC were asked to complete a questionnaire at 2 time points: 1- and 6 month(s) following study initiation. Identified benefits, expectations, frequency of use, and challenges related to practice change uptake were described using frequencies and percentages. Data from the 2 different time points were compared using χ2 analysis.
Of the 40 nurses approached, all completed the questionnaire (19 at the 1-month and 21 at the 6-month time point). Of the sample (n = 40), 97% of participants indicated that they expected KC to provide good pain relief or better. Staff nurses reported significantly improved preconceived ideas (χ2 = 22.68, P < .01) and significantly fewer concerns (χ2 = 22.10, P = .01) related to using KC as a pain-relieving intervention between the 2 time points. No significant differences were seen in the frequency of using KC as an intervention between time points.
Implications for Research and Practice:
Despite increasingly positive preconceived ideas and reduced concerns, the frequency of using KC for procedural pain relief remained unchanged. Further research addressing ways to overcome barriers to utilizing KC as an intervention for procedural pain is warranted.