Visual stimulation for premature infants with hyperbilirubinemia

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michelle C. Evans (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Lynne Koester

Abstract: There are many physiological complications which are associated with the birth of premature infants due to their early interruption of intrauterine life. One of these complications is that of hyperbilirubinemia. Premature infants are placed under flourescent lights, with their eyes occluded by patches, as a means of reducing the high serum bilirubin content in the blood stream. This medical procedure, although necessary, also prevents normal visual stimulation from the environment. Studies of animals have shown that deprivation of visual stimulation in the early days of development can have long lasting effects on the visual perceptual abilities of animals. Therefore, a systematic program of visual stimulation for infants with occluded vision was developed in an effort to increase their visual orientation abilities. Ten premature infants with hyperbilirubinemia, whose gestational e.ges were clinically assessed to be between 28 weeks to 38 weeks, were randomly assigned to Experimental and Control groups. Both groups of infants received the visual stimulation program during the time they were under the flourescent lights: however, only infants in the Experimental group had their eye patches removed during this time. The visual stimulation was performed each day for 20 minutes and consisted of moving back and forth at a distance a mobile, a penlight and colored paddles. Following discontinuation of the flourescent lights, the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale was administered to each infant. Three days later the infanta were tested again on the same scale in an attempt to determine stability of these test scores.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1977

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