Effects of cycled light on weight gain of preterm infants in Isfahan in 2005

Parvin Taheri, D Dehghan, Zohreh Ghazavi, I Hagh Shenas


Introduction: Nowadays prematurity is the major cause of death among infants during the first year of life and is responsible for most of admissions to nursing intensive care unit (NICU). Having multiple neurodevelopmental problems, preterm infants are low birth weight because of staying in uterus for a shorter time. So, the survival of preterm infants would be depended on their birth weight. The stressful environment of NICU exposes preterm infants to inappropriate stimuli such as continuous light in day-night period, which in addition to the susceptibility of these infants, imposes the researcher to use alternative methods to promote their growth and health. The aim of study was to determine the effect of cycled light on weight gain in preterm infants.

Methods: This study was a quasi-experimental study carried out on 66 hospitalized preterm infants in NICU in Al-Zahra Hospital in Isfahan. Subjects were selected by convenience sampling method. Data were gathered by interviews and observations. Weight of infants was measured by special infant scale. DX2 luxmeter was used in order to measure light intensity. In intervention group, light intensity of NICU was reduced from 180-200 lux to 5-10 lux by turning the lights off from 7.5 PM to 7.5 AM. At the beginning and at the end of study, infants' weights were measured. The length of intervention was matched between the two groups. Descriptive and analytic statistical methods were used for data analysis.

Results: The results showed a significant difference between weight gains (weight changes) of preterm infants in the two groups (P = 0.041) but there was no significant difference between weights of preterm infants before and after study in the cycled group (P = 0.058) and in the control group (P = 0.183).

Conclusion: According to the results, applying cycled light in NICU could improve growth and weight gain in preterm infants. The possibility of applying cycled light in clinical centers would be achieved if facilities were provided. Then, developmental interventions such as arranging environmental light are suggested to promote infants' health.


Cycled light, preterm infants, weight gain


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