A quantitative use of the NIDCAP tool. The effect of gender and race on very preterm neonates' behavior.

Jana L. Pressler, Joseph Hepworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the check sheet of the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) can be quantified and used in research. Using the quantified NIDCAP measures, the hypothesis that Caucasian male infants are less behaviorally competent while in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was explored. Participants included 42 very preterm NICU infants. Eighty-five NIDCAP behaviors were quantified into scores ranging from 0 to 1, indicating the percentage of time each behavior was observed. Multivariate analyses were used in grouping the 85 NIDCAP behaviors into three subsystems of functioning. The hypothesis that Caucasian male infants were less competent was not supported; neither were gender differences found. Contrary to this hypothesis, African American infants were identified as more vulnerable on several behaviors. NIDCAP assessments were easily quantified. Once the entire NIDCAP exam has been quantified, practice applications may involve automated development of individualized care plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Nursing Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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