Practice variation in the transfer of premature infants from incubators to open cots in Australian and New Zealand neonatal nurseries: Results of an electronic survey

New, Karen, Bogossian, Fiona, East, Christine and Davies, Mark William (2010) Practice variation in the transfer of premature infants from incubators to open cots in Australian and New Zealand neonatal nurseries: Results of an electronic survey. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 47 6: 678-687. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2009.10.017

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Author New, Karen
Bogossian, Fiona
East, Christine
Davies, Mark William
Title Practice variation in the transfer of premature infants from incubators to open cots in Australian and New Zealand neonatal nurseries: Results of an electronic survey
Journal name International Journal of Nursing Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0020-7489
Publication date 2010-06-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2009.10.017
Volume 47
Issue 6
Start page 678
End page 687
Total pages 10
Editor Mary Fitzgerald
Sue Holmes
Ian Norman
Place of publication Bromley, U.K.
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
111006 Midwifery
920501 Child Health
920210 Nursing
Formatted abstract
Background: The incubator environment is essential for optimal physiological functioning and development of the premature infant but the infant is ultimately required to make a successful transfer from incubator to open cot in order to be discharged from hospital. Criteria for transfer lack a systematic approach because no clear, specific guideline predominates in clinical practice. Practice variation exists between continents, regions and nurseries in the same countries, but there is no recent review of current practices utilised for transferring premature infants from incubators to open cots.
Objective: To document current practice for transferring premature infants to open cots in neonatal nurseries.
Design: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey.
Settings: Twenty-two neonatal intensive care units and fifty-six high dependency special care baby units located in public hospitals in Australia and New Zealand.
Participants: A sample of 78 key clinical nursing leaders (nurse unit managers, clinical nurse consultants or clinical nurse specialists) within neonatal nurseries identified through email or telephone contact.
Methods: Data were collected using a web-based survey on practice, decision-making and strategies utilised for transferring premature infants from incubators to open cots.
Descriptive statistics (frequencies and crosstabs) were used to analyse data. Comparisons between groups were tested for statistical significance using Chi-squared or Fisher’s exact test.
Results: Significant practice variation between countries was found for only one variable, nursing infants clothed (p = 0.011). Processes and practices undertaken similarly in both countries include use of incubator air control mode, current weight criterion, thermal challenging, single-walled incubators and heated mattress systems.
Practice variation was significant between neonatal intensive care units and special
care baby units for weight range (p = 0.005), evidence-based practice (p = 0.004), historical nursery practice (p = 0.029) and incubator air controlmode (p = 0.001). Differences in these variables were also found between nurseries in metropolitan and rural locations.
Conclusions: Practice variation exists however; many practices are uniformly performed throughout neonatal nurseries in Australian and New Zealand. Commonality was seen between countries and in nurseries with a neonatal intensive care unit. Variation was significant between neonatal intensive care units and special care baby units and nurseries in metropolitan and rural locations.
Keyword Body temperature regulation
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Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
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Created: Mon, 08 Feb 2010, 21:19:13 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work