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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582


GASPARDO, Cláudia Maria; MARTINEZ, Francisco Eulógio  and  LINHARES, Maria Beatriz M.. Developmental care: protection approach for early development of preterm infants. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.1, pp.77-85. ISSN 0103-0582.

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To review randomized clinical trials published from 2002 to 2009 focusing on the efficacy of Developmental Care interventions in preterm infants in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. DATA SOURCE: Randomized trials were selected from Medline, PsycINFO, ISI Web of Science, LILACS, and SciELO databases using the keywords "developmental care" and "neonate". A critical methodological analysis of the studies was performed based on the following criteria: random allocation, estimate of sample size, drop-out sample, inclusion and exclusion criteria, control of confounding variables, validity of instruments, researcher "blind" condition for intervention group, presence of follow-up, external and ecological validities, and ethical approval. DATA SYNTHESIS: The Developmental Care interventions improved short-term outcomes as physiological, behavioral, neurological and clinical status of newborns. Decreased infants' pain reactivity was noted during weighing and diaper change procedures. Parents exposed to Developmental Care interventions showed higher sense of competence to take care of the newborns. The staff trained in Developmental Care interventions showed better performance when looking after infants and paid more attention to the environmental, physical and social stimuli. CONCLUSIONS: The Developmental Care interventions in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit promoted beneficial effects on development and health of preterm infants in the neonatal period and the first year of life. In future studies, a higher methodological control of blindness of intervention and confusion variables is recommended. Prospective-longitudinal studies should address the evaluation of this intervention on medium- and long-term developmental outcomes

Keywords : intensive care units, neonatal; infant, premature; infant care.

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