Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Baker, Leann

Committee Member

Nash, Whitney

Author's Keywords

Neurosupportive care; family-centered care; neurodevelopment; Supporting and Enhancing NICU Sensory Experiences (SENSE©)


Background: There is increasing awareness of the contribution of the neonatal intensive care (NICU) environment and the importance of developmental care (DC) interventions to long-term outcomes in high-risk infants. Care at the project site reflected that given at many hospitals, where positive sensory experiences and negative sensory mitigation are done but inconsistently. There was not a guideline in place for DC interventions.

Setting: The project site housed a newly renovated single-family room (SFR) NICU with 12 licensed Level II beds and ability to flex to 19 beds. Neonates at gestational ages ≥28 weeks, requiring critical care for a variety of reasons make up the patient population.

Purpose: This project assessed the implementation of the Supporting and Enhancing NICU Sensory Experiences (SENSE©) Program in a Level II NICU in a suburban setting in the southeast United States as a way to increase the consistent application of positive sensory experiences in routine caregiving.

Procedures: Staff were educated on neurodevelopment and neurosupportive care and oriented to SENSE©. Program-provided materials were supplied in the unit. Families were oriented to SENSE© via a program-provided educational website, and interventions were supplied per evidence-based sensory guidelines for gestational age (GA).

Measures: Nurses’ integration of developmentally supportive practices in routine care were assessed before education/implementation and then again after 14 weeks of program implementation. Data was collected from bedside SENSE© medical log sheets and analyzed to assess the use of DC interventions as prescribed by SENSE©.

Moseley Jaeger_signed_title_page.pdf (33 kB)
Signed Title Page