Program

Sep 14, 2010

OVERVIEW

This
intervention for low birth weight, preterm infants begins in the hospital’s
neonatal intensive care unit with the nurse and continues in the home with
several home visits from the nurse. Significant program impacts were found on
cognitive development at three and four years of age. At six months of age,
mothers in the treatment group expressed more self-confidence and a more
positive perception of the infant’s temperament.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target
Population:

Low birth
weight, preterm infants

A neonatal
intensive care nurse conducted 11 one-hour sessions with the mothers. Seven
occurred during the week prior to the infant’s discharge from the hospital and
four took place in-home at three, 14, 30, and 90 days after discharge. The nurse
encouraged the mother to feel comfortable holding her infant and demonstrated
how to property hold and handle him or her. The nurse explained different signs
to look for to understand the baby’s needs. The focus and pace of the
interactions were varied by the nurse to address the particular needs of each
mother.

EVALUATIONS OF PROGRAM

Rauh, V.
A., Achenbach, T. M., Nurcombe, B., Howell, C. T., & Teti, D. M. (1988).
Minimizing adverse effects of low birthweight: Four-year results of an early
intervention program. Child Development, 59(3), 544-553.

Evaluated
Population:

Infants
(N=78) were fewer than 2,250 grams at birth and fewer than 37 weeks gestation.
On average, the infants had eight or nine ante-, peri-, and post-natal
complications, and were hospitalized slightly over a month. The average mother
was in her mid to late 20’s, and had finished high school. More than half of the
children were firstborn, about one third were born through Caesarean delivery,
and about one in five were small for their gestational age.

Approach:
Recruited
mother-child pairs (N=78) were randomly assigned to the experimental (N=38) or
control (N=40) group. Infant assessments took place at six, 12, 24, 36, and 48
months. Infants were measured on cognitive development. Mothers reported on
their self confidence, anxiety, perceptions of infant temperament, and
satisfaction with her mothering role, all at infant age six months. A nurse
rated the mothers on their response to the intervention.

Results:
No impacts
were found for cognitive scores at 6, 12, and 24 months; however the treatment
group had significantly higher cognitive scores at 36 and 48 months, compared
with the control group. Control mothers were more likely than treatment mothers
to perceive their infants as more difficult. Treatment mothers had higher self
confidence than control mothers. No significant impacts were found for role
satisfaction or maternal anxiety.

SOURCES
FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Rauh, V.
A., Achenbach, T. M., Nurcombe, B., Howell, C. T., & Teti, D. M. (1988).
Minimizing adverse effects of low birthweight: Four-year results of an early
intervention program. Child Development, 59(3), 544-553.

Program
Manual:
As of 1988, a detailed manual was available from the authors upon request. The
lead author, Dr. Virginia Rauh can be contacted at Columbia University as of
September 2010 at the following address:

60 Haven
Avenue, B-2
Room 213
New York, New York 10032

KEYWORDS: Infants (0-12 months), Toddlers (12-36 months), Children (3-11), Males and
Females (co-ed), Clinic/Provider-based, Home-based, Parent Training/Education,
Home Visitation, Parent/Family Component, Manual is Available, Other Education.

Last
Updated on September 14, 2010

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