Mothers' perception of Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) as compared to conventional care.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Family-centred care according to the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) has been reported to positively influence family function. The aim was to examine if NIDCAP affects the views of prematurely born infants' mothers regarding maternal rote, perception of the infant and the neonatal care. Method: Preterm infants with gestational age < 32 weeks were randomly assigned to receive either care based on NIDCAP (n = 12) or conventional neonatal care (n = 13), forming two comparable groups with respect to gestational age, birth weight, female/male ratio, and initial illness severity. A questionnaire was designed to evaluate various aspects of the mothers' attitudes and apprehension of their maternal rote, perception of their infant and the neonatal care. The questionnaire was validated and given to the mothers when the infants reached 36 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA). Results: Ten mothers in each group replied to the questionnaire. The mothers in the NIDCAP-group perceived more closeness to their infants than did the control mothers (p = 0.022) and this feeling demonstrated no significant correlation to the infant's gestational age, weight at birth or severity of illness. Furthermore, the mothers in the NIDCAP-group tended to rate the staff's ability to support them in their role as a mother somewhat higher (p = 0.066), but at the same time they expressed more anxiety than did the control mothers (p = 0.033). Conclusion: Early intervention according to NIDCAP seems to facilitate a feeling of closeness between the mother and her premature infant regardless of the infant's birth weight or health status. The higher level of anxiety in the mothers in the NIDCAP-group, may mirror that the mothers in the NIDCAP-group had already bonded to their infants during the hospital stay.


  • Agneta Kleberg
  • Lena Hellström-Westas
  • Ann-Marie Widstrom
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pediatrics


  • interaction, NIDCAP, very low birth weight infant, developmental care, bonding, early intervention, mother-child
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-411
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch