Family-Centered Services in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Review of Research

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Abstract

This paper is a review of family-centered intervention programs conducted in the NICU and supported by evaluation data. Only 10 studies on family-centered NICU interventions published in peer-reviewed journals since 1980 were located. Of these, three focused on intervention with the goal of benefitting the family system directly, six involved parents but the primary focus was the infant, and one study combined these two approaches. All the studies carried out to date have substantial limitations arising from small sample sizes and other methodological issues. Thus, despite the emphasis on family-centered services in current legislation and in the theoretical literature, little empirical research is available to document the effectiveness of such approaches.

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