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State Change in Preterm Infants in Response to Nursing Caregiving: Possible Gender Effects

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Purpose: To describe the effect of nursing caregiving on infant sleep-wake states by gender in preterm infants

Design: Descriptive measures at 34 weeks postmenstrual age and at discharge

Sample: Twenty-two hospitalized preterm infants

Main Outcome Variable: Infant state and caregiving episodes were coded in 15-second intervals from video recordings of approximately three hours duration. Time plots of state and caregiving were analyzed visually to summarize spontaneous state changes and state change associated with caregiving.

Results: Sleep and wake state distribution did not differ statistically by gender; however, the rate of state change in male infants was twice that of females (p=.012) at discharge. At discharge, male infants received approximately twice as many care episodes as females. At discharge, the rate of state change in response to caregiving in male infants was four times that of female infants (p=.026). Males exhibited a greater percentage of caregiving episodes related to state change than did females at discharge (p=.018). Findings suggest further exploration of possible gender differences in state regulation and state change in response to caregiving.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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