Family-centered care improved neonatal medical and neurobehavioral outcomes in preterm infants: Randomized controlled trial

Yen Ting Yu, Wu Shiun Hsieh, Chyong Hsin Hsu, Yuh Jyh Lin, Chyi Her Lin, Shulan Hsieh, Lu Lu, Rong Ju Cherng, Ying Ju Chang, Pi Chuan Fan, Nai Jia Yao, Wei J. Chen, Suh Fang Jeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Family-centered care for preterm infants in Western societies has yielded short- to medium-term benefits. However, the intervention effects have rarely been validated in Eastern societies. Objective. The aim of this study was to examine whether a family-centered intervention program (FCIP) could improve the short-term medical and neurobehavioral outcomes in preterm infants with very low birth weight (VLBW; a birth weight of < 1,500 g) in Taiwan over the outcomes seen with a usual care program (UCP). Design. This was a multicenter, single-blind, randomized controlled trial study. Setting. Three medical centers in northern and southern Taiwan were the locations for the study. Participants. The participants were 251 VLBW preterm infants without severe perinatal complications. Intervention. The infants were randomly assigned to receive the FCIP or the UCP during hospitalization. Measurements. Infant morbidities, feeding, growth, and neurobehavioral performance were evaluated during the neonatal period. Parental adherence to interventions was measured in the FCIP group. Results. The FCIP promoted earlier full enteral feeding (β = -1.1 weeks; 95% CI = -1.9 to -0.2 weeks) and hospital discharge (β = -0.6 week; 95% CI = -1.1 to -0.1 weeks), greater weight gain (β = 3.3 g/d; 95% CI = 0.1 to 6.6 g/d), and better neurobehavioral performance than the UCP (β = 1.2 points; 95% CI = 0.2 to 2.3 points). Furthermore, a higher degree of parental motivation in interventions, goal attainment, and comprehensiveness of home activities was significantly associated with greater effects in infants' neurobehavioral performance and weight gain (r =.20-.31; all Ps <.05). Limitations. The findings may not be generalized to preterm infants with severe perinatal diseases and parents with a low level of interest in interventions. Conclusions. Family-centered care facilitated short-term medical and neurobehavioral outcomes in VLBW preterm infants in Taiwan; the effects were likely achieved through parental adherence to interventions. The designated strategies may be considered in a future launch of family-centered care in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1158-1168
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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