Objective Parents of preterm infants experience high levels of stress during the infant’s first year of life. High levels of stress are associated with new parental role, infant’s appearance and its behavioural characteristics. This may impact the quality of parents’ perception of and reaction to their infant and cause parents to be less sensitive and responsive. The quality of social interaction between parents and infants is related to the child’s later social, emotional, cognitive and motor development. The study tested the mother–infant transaction programme (Nurcombe et al 1984), an 11-session programme carried out by trained expert nurses. Seven sessions were conducted before discharge, the last four at home. The outcome was stress in parent–infant interaction measured by the parenting stress index at 6 and 12 months adjusted age.
Methods A randomised controlled trial. 118 preterm infants were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. Fifty-two full-term infants constituted a second control group. Participants were preterm infants with gestational age >30.0 and <36 weeks, and term infants with Apgar score >7 at 5 minutes, gestational age >37.0 weeks and birth weight >2500 g.
Results 170 infants were recruited. 95 preterm infants (47 in intervention and 48 in preterm control group) and 47 term infants completed the 12-month follow-up.
Conclusions Data will be presented and discussed at the congress.