The psychological impact of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) : a review of the literature

O'Brien, Shannon (2004-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: his review examines the literature on the psychological impact of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) on the mother, infant, support personnel and other caretakers. The paper summarizes the findings of the KMC research and considers the implications of it in light of high numbers of premature and low birth weight infants in South Africa. The review briefly considers theories of bonding and attachment adopted in the research and theories on why KMC is effective. The psychological impact of one component of KMC, Skin-to-Skin Care (SSC), used primarily in developed countries to supplement traditional care, has been extensively researched. In contrast, much less research has explored the psychological impact of full KMC programmes in developing countries. Our understanding of the psychological impact of KMC therefore relies predominantly on research from a very different context to the one in which KMC is used. As SSC has been utilised very differently to KMC and in first world settings, it cannot offer mothers or their family reliable information on the psychological demands and benefits ofKMC. Findings: Although KMC appears to offer invaluable physiological benefits and assists in 'humanising' neonatal care in important ways, there is currently very little published research on the short or long-term psychological impact of KMC on the mother, infant, support personnel and other caretakers. On the whole, research findings on the psychological impact of KMC were not conclusive but indicate some positive outcomes for increased maternal sensitivity and confidence, developmental benefits for the infant and an improvement in the clarity of infants' cues and communication with caregiver. Findings on the psychological impact of KMC for support personnel and other caretakers such as the family of the infant are also not conclusive and indicate that more research is necessary. Further research is required regarding cross-cultural experiences of KMC; maternal experiences of depression, anxiety and ambivalence; long-term developmental and attachment outcomes for the infant and the possible preventative value of KMC for maternal and infant mental health.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie hersiening ondersoek die literatuur aangaande die sielkundige uitwerking van Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) op die ma, suigeling, ondersteunende personeel en ander opsigters. Die artikel is 'n opsomming van die uitspraak van KMC navorsing en oorweeg die gevolgtrekkings daarvan ten opsigte van die hoe getal vroeggebore en lae ligaamsgewig van suigelinge wat in Suid-Afrika gebore is. Die hersiening kyk kortliks na die teorie verbonde aan die binding en gehegtheid van die navorsing en teorie oor hoekom KMC doeltreffend is. Die sielkundige uitwerking van een onderdeel van KMC, Skin-to-Skin Care (SSC), wat meestal in gevorderde lande gebruik word om tradisionele versorg te verryk, is deeglik ondersoek. Inteendeel is ver minder navorsing op die sielkundige uitwerking van volle KMC programme in ontwikellende lande gedoen. Dus is ons begrip van die sielkundige uitwerking van KMC afhanklik op navorsing vanuit 'n ander konteks as die een waarin die eintlik gebruik is. SSC word baie anders benut as KMC, en in eerstewereldkontekste kan dit dus nie veel betroubare inligting op die sielkundige vereistes en voordele van KMC verskaf nie. Bevindings: Al kom dit voor dat KMC waardevolle sielkundige voordele verskaf en help in geboorte nasorg op belangrike maniere, is daar huidiglik baie min navorsing op druk oor die kort- of die langtermyn sielkundige uitwerking van KMC op die ma, suigeling, ondersteunende personeel en ander oppassers. In die algemeen, is die bevindings van navorsing oor die sielkundige uitwerking van KMC nie volkome nie, maar dui positiewe uitslae aan op verhoogde moederlike gevoelens en selfvertroue. Navorsing dui ook ontwikkelingsvoordele vir die suigeling, asook die bevordering van die duidelikheid van sy kommunikasie met die oppasser. Bevindings op die sielkundige uitwerking van KMC op die ondersteunende personeel en ander oppassers, byvoorbeeld familielede van die suigeling, is ook nie volkome nie, en dui die nodigheid van verdere navorsing aan. Verdere navorsing oor die kruiskulturele ervaring van KMC, moederlike ondervinding van moedeloosheid, angs en dubbelsinnigheid is benodig. Langtermyn ontwikkeling en gehegtigheidsake vir die suigeling en die moontlike voorkomende waarde van KMC vir moederlike en suigeling se geestelike gesondheid is ook wel benodig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50173
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