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First-Time Mothers' Selection of Infant Supine Sleep Positioning

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The incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has decreased dramatically since the inception of the “Back to Sleep” campaign initiated by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1992. However, that decrease has leveled off and many new parents cease to follow the recommendation to place their infants in the supine position for sleep between 1 and 3 months of age, the peak age for the incidence of SIDS. Shortened hospital stays for new mothers and the overwhelming amount of required patient teaching dictate the need to find the best method of instruction. The purpose of this study was to determine if a one-on-one teaching intervention improved the effectiveness of patient education and led to an increase in the desired behavior of placing the infant to sleep in the supine position. A quantitative experimental approach was used to examine the difference in compliance of supine infant positioning. Participants were drawn from a convenience sample of 61 primiparous women between the ages of 18 and 35 years with random assignment to either the experimental or control group. Compared to mothers in the control group, mothers in the experimental group demonstrated greater compliance in selecting supine sleep position in the first week home from the hospital and on the day of follow-up 6 weeks later. However, no difference in “usual position” was reported at 6 weeks and for the night previous to follow-up.

Keywords: infant sleep position; one-on-one patient teaching; sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: MARY CATHERINE GOETTER is the Magnet Project Director at the United Medical Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming. 2: MARY BETH FLANDERS STEPANS is an associate professor in the Fay Whitney School of Nursing at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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