Did you know extremely preterm infants in the NICU are alone 80% of the time during the first 30 days of life? 


In the 2018 study by Gonya and colleagues, entitled Human Interaction in the NICU and its Association with Outcomes on the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (BITSEA), researchers examined the relationship between the care structure received in the NICU and later social competence. 50 extremely preterm infants with a mean gestational age of 25 weeks were enrolled and the quantity and type of human interaction was tracked for the first 30 days of life. Follow up was completed at 2 years and the BITSEA was administered. It was determined during the first 30 days of life extremely preterm infants experienced isolation 80% of the time and the majority of human interaction was completed by nursing. The infants who did receive more human interaction had significantly higher Social Competence and lower Dysregulation during follow up testing.

Painful, medical, or procedural touch is overwhelmingly the majority of the touch infants receive in the NICU. Couple this with the significant amount of time they spend in isolation and its no surprise babies born preterm are at risk for a myriad of social, cognitive, motor and developmental issues. The mission of the Neonatal Touch & Massage Certification (NTMC) is to have 95% of touch in the NICU be intentionally comforting. Through NTMC, or any of Creative Therapy Consultants Educational Programs, we strive to change the lives and outcomes of the babies and families you serve. Learn more about CTC Infant-Driven Education Here

Gonya, J., Feldman, K., Brown, K., Stein, M., Keim, S., Boone, K., Rumpf, W., Ray, W., Chawla, N., Butter, E. (2018). Human interaction in the NICU and its association with outcomes on the brief infant-toddler social and emotional assessment (BITSEA). Early Childhood Development, 127, 6-14.