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OP-081 Intervention studies on family centered care in nicus: scoping reviews
  1. Marzia Lazzerini1,
  2. Jenny Bua3,
  3. Cecilia Vuillard3,
  4. Domenica Squillaci4,
  5. Cristina Tumminelli4,
  6. Silvia Panunzi5,
  7. Martina Girardelli6,
  8. Ilaria Mariani1
  1. 1Institute for Maternal and Child Health, IRCCS ‘Burlo Garofolo’, WHO Collaborating Centre for Maternal and Child Health
  2. 2Maternal Adolescent Reproductive and Child Health Care Centre, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  3. 3Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Institute for Maternal and Child Health – IRCCS ‘Burlo Garofolo’, Trieste, Italy
  4. 4Clinical Department of Medical Surgical and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
  5. 5Unit of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Department of Diagnostics and Public Health, University of Verona, Italy
  6. 6Department of Pediatrics, Institute for Maternal and Child Health IRCCS ‘Burlo Garofolo’, Trieste, Italy


Aim Many family-centred care (FCC) interventions have been studied in the in the setting of neonatal intensive units (NICUs), but a systematic review analysing characteristics of existing intervention studies was lacking. We analysed characteristics of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on FCC interventions in NICUs.

Material and Method We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science and the Cochrane library up to January 31, 2022, reference lists of included studies and reviews. Interventions were grouped in five categories: family support; educational; communication; environmental; policies. Subgroup analyses by time-period and country income were conducted.

Results Out of 6583 retrieved studies, 146 RCTs were identified, with 53 (36.3%) RCTs published after 2016. Overall, 118 (80.8%) RCTs were conducted in high-income countries, 26 (17.8%) in middle-income countries, none in low-income countries. Only 2 RCTs were multi-country. 92 RCTs (63.0%) measured outcomes in children, 90 RCTs (61.6%) in parents, 32 RCTs (21.9%) in fathers, 1 RCTs in health professionals. The role of health professional, both in delivering and in receiving the interventions (e.g. training), was unclear in 65 (44.5%) RCTs. A large variety of intervention combinations was tested, with 52 (35.6%) RCTs testing more than one category of interventions, 24 (16.4%) RCTs including all five categories. A total of 77 different interventions/intervention packages were tested, reporting on 359 outcomes, with a lack of head-to-head studies comparing the same interventions. We developed menus of interventions and of related measuring methods, grouped in categories (by target population and outcomes type).

Abstract OP-081 Figure 1

Number of RCTs testing each category of FCC interventions (N=146).

When interventions were classified into the five categories of FCC, a large variety of interventions and intervention combinations was observed. Notes: in addition to the RCTs shown in the figure, 2 RCTs (1.4%) tested environmental interventions as single interventions and 2 RCTs (1.4%) tested family-centred policies as single category interventions. Abbreviations: RCT=randomized controlled trial; FCC=family-centred care (figure 1).

Conclusions There is a large and raising number of RCTs on FCC interventions in NICUs, and specific research gaps. The large variety of FCC interventions, their high complexity, the need to tailor them to context, and major gaps in implementation, suggest that implementation research is the current priority. The menus developed may favour both further research and implementation.

  • newborn health
  • family-centred care
  • systematic review
  • neonatal intensive care units
  • premature infants

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