Study the Effect of Quiet Time Protocol on Physiological Characteristics of Preterm Infants

Document Type : Original Quantitative and Qualitative Research Paper


1 MS in Neonatal Intensive Care, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Instructor of Pediatrics Nursing, Department of Pediatrics Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Associate professor of Neonatology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Instructor of Occupational Health Engineering, Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: There are extremely stressful stimuli in NICU environment. Although attempts have already saved neonates in this unit, this can disturb the adaptability of the infants in with environmental stimuli.
Aim: To determine the effect of quiet time protocol implementation on physiological characteristics of preterm infants.
Methods: In this cross-sectional clinical trial, 120 premature infants were randomly divided into experimental and control groups in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad in year 1393. The quiet time protocol, including preparing the environment, adjustment of the nursing staff and mothers, was performed in the intervention group between 16:00-18:00 p.m., and the control group received routine programs at 11:00-13:00 hours. Blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate were measured in 15-min intervals during the intervention, and one hour before and after both times, as well as the sound level and light intensity. Data analysis was done by Independent t-test, Mann Whitney, ANOVA with Repeated Measures, and Friedman tests using SPSS version 11.5.
Results: Of all infants, 40% were girls and 60 % boys. There was no significant difference between the groups regarding systolic (p<0.44) and diastolic BP (p<0.36). The mean heart rate of the intervention group at the second hour of intervention (135.7±12.4) was significantly lower than the control group (145.7±14.4) (p<0.02). Respiratory rate at the second hour of the intervention was lower in the quiet time group than that in control (p<0.007).
Conclusion: The implementation of quiet time protocol can decrease heart rate and respiratory rate through decrease in the environmental stimuli (noise, light and handling), and is recommended for reducing stress in preterm infants.


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