The goals of the proposed research are to develop and test an intervention (Comforting by Family; ComFy) that will engage parents in specific caregiving activities to reduce pain and distress for intensive care nursery (ICN) infants in partnership with the clinical care team. The ComFy intervention is based on the Comforting Your Baby in Intensive care booklet, which was developed and pilot-tested in the UK by one of the Co-Principal Investigators (LF).
The research will generate preliminary data regarding the effectiveness of the ComFy intervention in a) reducing infant distress during stressful and painful procedures, b) improving parental competence in managing infant distress, and c) reducing parental stress. These outcomes are important for the infant’s emotional well being and eventual capacity for self-regulation in stressful situations. They also have implications for the parents’ ability to recognize signs of infant distress in order to effectively care for their infant after discharge. The ComFy intervention will challenge the existing clinical care paradigm wherein parents are often passive observers with few opportunities to work in partnership with the healthcare team to meet infant comfort needs.