Instituting Parent Education Practices in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: An Administrative Case Report of Practice Evaluation and Statewide Action

Department of Physical Therapy, Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (Va-LEND), Virginia Commonwealth University,Richmond, VA 23298, USA.
Physical Therapy (Impact Factor: 2.53). 03/2012; 92(7):967-75. DOI: 10.2522/ptj.20110360
Source: PubMed


Infants born preterm are at high risk of developmental disabilities and benefit from early developmental intervention programs. Physical therapists with neonatal expertise are ideally suited to educate parents about ways to support their infant's development in the first months of life. However, administrative policies are needed to support the therapist in providing adequate parent education in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This administrative case report describes the process used by a team of neonatal therapists to evaluate clinical practice, determine the need for change, and develop and implement a new parent education program in the NICU.
Physical therapy parent education practices were evaluated in an academic medical center with a 36-bed, level-3 NICU. Physical therapists with neonatal expertise covered multiple units within the hospital each day. A series of focus groups, a small descriptive study, and staff discussion were used to evaluate parent education practices in this academic medical center. A new parent education program was developed based on data collected and literature to improve clinical care.
The new parent education model was implemented over the course of several months using overlapping initiatives. Administrative support for the change was developed through collaboration, open communication, and presentation of clinical data. In addition, this hospital-based program contributed to the development of a statewide initiative to educate parents of preterm infants about the importance of supporting development in the first months of life.
A collaborative and data-driven approach to evaluating parent education practices supported the development of a new parent education practice while acknowledging the need to meet staff productivity standards and provide excellent care throughout the hospital.

1 Follower
25 Reads
    • "For neuromuscular dysfunction, common therapeutic strategies for neuromuscular physiotherapy include positioning, skin to skin holding (kangaroo care), therapeutic handling, orofacial stimulation, taping, range of motion exercise, soft tissue mobilization (surgical scar release), hydrotherapy and parent education (feeding, dressing, positioning of infants for sleep, interaction/play).[891011] These developmental strategies are beneficial for the promotion of posture and movement appropriate to gestational age and medical stability, to modulate sensory stimulation in the infant's NICU environment, to promote behavioral organization and physiological stability, to foster infant-parent attachment, and to provide direct intervention for neonatal feeding dysfunction and oral motor deficits.[91012] "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine practice pattern of physiotherapists in the neonatal intensive care units (ICUs) in India with regards to cardiopulmonary and neuromuscular physiotherapy. A cross-sectional survey was conducted across India, in which 285 questionnaires were sent via e-mail to physiotherapists working in neonatal intensive care units. A total of 139 completed questionnaires were returned with a response rate of 48.7%, with a majority of responses from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat. More than 90% of physiotherapists performed chest physiotherapy in neonatal ICUs. Chest physiotherapy assessment predominantly focused on vital parameter assessment (86%) and in treatment predominantly focused on percussion (74.1%), vibration (75.5%), chest manipulation (73.3%), postural drainage (67.6%) and suction (65.4%). In neuromuscular physiotherapy more than 60% of physiotherapists used positioning, and parent education, whereas more than 45% focused on passive range of motion exercise and therapeutic handling. The practice pattern of physiotherapists for neonates in neonatal intensive care units involves both chest physiotherapy as well neuromuscular physiotherapy. Chest physiotherapy assessment focused mainly on vital parameter assessment (heart rate, respiratory rate and partial pressure of oxygen saturation SpO2). Treatment focused on airway clearance techniques including percussion, vibration, postural drainage and airway suction. In neuromuscular physiotherapy most physiotherapists focused on parent education and passive range of motion exercise, therapeutic handling, as well as positioning.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Pediatric physical therapy: the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Family involvement is essential to the developmental outcome of infants born into Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In this article, evidence has been presented on the parent's perspective of having an infant in the NICU and the context of family. Key points to an educational assessment are also reviewed. Throughout, the parent's concerns and the educational needs of the family are shared, and strategies are given to help therapists enhance their teaching skills and ways to partner with parents. This article also introduces the NICU Discharge Path for parents "Preparing for Your Baby to Come Home". The Path educates parents on the steps towards home and encourages their participation in the process.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
Show more