Vida Francis


Experts in the field of prematurity have stressed the need for an intensive follow-up program for premature infants after discharge from the hospital and cited the important role that public nurses can play. It was hypothesized that there are needs of high risk premature infant significant to public health nursing follow-up.

The descriptive survey method and an interview schedule was the selected manner for obtaining necessary data. The sample was chosen from high risk premature infants attending the Premature Clinic at the White Memorial Hospital. The selected infants had birth wrights of 1,500 grams of less, were under one year of age, and currently receiving medical supervision at the clinic. The participants were limited to those living within ten miles of the clinic. Ten mothers answered questions regarding physical and emotional aspects of care.

Because the small sample size, this research was considered a pilot study. From the responses given, it appears that mothers are able to verbalize their concerns but tend to forget them when the problem no longer exist.

The problems most frequently expressed were feeding difficulties, constipation, frequent colds, and noisy respiration. Right mothers had not anticipated premature gestations although half of them had delivered other premature. When mothers were discharge from the hospital, they were not concerned about the physical condition of their hospitalized infants. Apprehension decreased after the infants had survived for one month. Three-fifths of the mothers felt capable of caring for their high risk prematures [sic]. Those that did not feel capable were most anxious during the time they were waiting for the infant's discharge. All mothers were desirous of the physical care that their infants received at the Premature Clinic. Four also gained support from association with mothers having similar concerns. Only one-fifth of mothers felt that they received adequate guidance and support from public health nursing visits.

From the findings for this pilot study, tentative conclusions were drawn. Mothers who enroll their infants at the Premature Clinic do so because they are referred rather than from a knowledge of or expectations for specialized service or suppurative reasons. Mothers are not aware of ways in which they can utilized public health nursing services. Insufficient counselling may be a factor in the lack of understanding by these mothers with repeated premature gestations.

It was hypothesized that high risk. premature infants have needs significant to public health nursing follow-up. In this pilot study, the hypothesis can neither be accepted or rejected for the following reasons: (1) the sample was to small to make the findings significant; (2) all of the infants participating in the study were "normal" (it is not likely that a large sample would have only "normal" infants); (3) public health nurses, as indicated by the responses, did not seem to adequately assisting mothers to meet the physical needs of their high risk premature infants. Nursing follow-up may have resulted in the reduction of persisting problems.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Ruth M. White

Second Advisor

Betty J. Trubey

Third Advisor

Nord S. Nation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Infant Care; Infant; Premature; Public Health Nursing



Page Count

vii; 55

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives