Work by Lester and his team supports the use of single-family rooms (SFRs) in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The researchers studied “medical and neurobehavioral outcomes at discharge in infants born <1500 g. Participants included 151 infants in an open-bay NICU and 252 infants after transition to a SFR NICU.” Their statistically significant findings indicate that “infants in the SFR NICU weighed more at discharge, had a greater rate of weight gain, required fewer medical procedures, had a lower gestational age at full enteral feed and less sepsis, showed better attention, less physiologic stress, less hypertonicity, less lethargy, and less pain. . . . Nurses reported a more positive work environment and attitudes in the SFR NICU.” The researchers conclude that improvements seen “are related to increased developmental support and maternal involvement.”
Barry Lester, Kathleen Hawes, Beau Abar, Mary Sullivan, Robin Miller, Rosemarie Bigsby, Abbot Laptook, Amy Salisbury, Marybeth Taub, Linda Lagasse, and James Padbury. 2014. “Single-Family Room Care and Neurobehavioral and Medical Outcomes in Preterm Infants.” PEDIATRICS, vol. 134, no, 4, pp. 754-760.