New research shows program effective in educating parents about prevention of shaken baby syndrome
New studies in the United States and Canada show that educational materials aimed at preventing shaken baby syndrome increased knowledge of new mothers about infant crying, the most common trigger for people abusing babies by shaking them. The study of mothers in Seattle is featured in the March issue of Pediatrics, and a partner study in Vancouver, British Columbia appears this month in The Canadian Medical Association Journal. Each year in the United States, an estimated 1,300 infants are hospitalized or die from shaken baby syndrome. One in four babies will die as a result of their injuries, and among those who survive, approximately 80 percent will suffer brain injury, blindness and deafness, fractures, paralysis, cognitive and learning disabilities, or cerebral palsy.
"Typically, crying begins within two weeks of birth so it's imperative that new parents receive information and learn coping strategies early," says Fred Rivara, MD, MPH and co-author of the Seattle study. Dr. Rivara is an investigator at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, and vice-chair of pediatrics at the University of Washington.
Both studies were randomized controlled trials testing of "The Period of PURPLE Crying," an educational program that includes a 12-minute DVD and information booklet. In Seattle, Dr. Rivara was joined by Dr. Ronald Barr, lead author of both studies and director of community child health at the Child & Family Research Institute and professor of pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.
The Seattle study involved 2,738 mothers of new infants. Half the women enrolled in the study received the PURPLE materials while half received information on infant safety. Mothers who received the PURPLE materials scored six percent higher in knowledge about crying and one percent higher in knowledge about shaking. They were six percent more likely to share information with caregivers about strategies for coping with the frustration of infant crying, and seven percent more likely to warn caregivers of the dangers of shaking.
Like their American counterparts, Vancouver mothers who received the PURPLE materials scored 6 percent higher in knowledge about crying, were 13 percent more likely to share information with caregivers about coping with inconsolable crying, 12.9 percent more likely to share information about the dangers of shaking, and 7.6 percent more likely to share information about crying.
"Changing knowledge is a critical first step in changing behavior, and this is important public health work because the results show it's possible to change people's ideas about crying." said Dr. Barr. PURPLE materials are designed to teach parents that crying is normal and frustrating for caregivers, and they list the following features as typical:
- Peak pattern, when crying increases, peaks in second month, then declines
- Unexpected timing of prolonged crying
- Resistance to soothing
- Pain-like look on the face
- Long crying bouts
- Evening and late afternoon clustering
- Pregnancy and tobacco a 'smoking gun' for baby: StudyFri, 3 Apr 2009, 9:08:06 EDT
- Simple drug treatment may prevent nicotine-induced SIDS: StudyWed, 3 Jun 2009, 10:24:26 EDT
- Breastfeeding tied to stronger maternal response to baby's cryWed, 20 Apr 2011, 10:35:25 EDT
- Babies embrace punishment earlier than previously thoughtMon, 28 Nov 2011, 17:41:26 EST
- New mothers can learn a lot from watching their babiesMon, 2 May 2011, 17:35:13 EDT
Articles on the same topic
- Educational materials increase knowledge and behaviors important for preventing shaken baby syndromeMon, 2 Mar 2009, 15:08:20 EST
- Educational materials for new mothers may prevent shaken baby syndrome, CMAJ study showsMon, 2 Mar 2009, 13:24:43 EST
- Program Effective In Educating Parents About Prevention Of Shaken Baby Syndromefrom Science DailyTue, 3 Mar 2009, 21:35:31 EST
- Educational materials increase knowledge and behaviors important for preventing shaken baby syndromefrom Science BlogMon, 2 Mar 2009, 18:21:20 EST
- Educational materials increase knowledge and behaviors important for preventing shaken baby syndromefrom Science BlogMon, 2 Mar 2009, 17:35:17 EST
- New research shows program effective in educating parents about prevention of shaken baby syndromefrom PhysorgMon, 2 Mar 2009, 16:33:22 EST
- Moms who see PURPLE might help reduce shaken baby syndromefrom CBC: HealthMon, 2 Mar 2009, 13:21:53 EST
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Outlook is grim for mammals and birds as human population grows
- Mars had oxygen-rich atmosphere 4,000 million years ago
- The contribution of particulate matter to forest decline
- Scientists find new source of versatility so 'floppy' proteins can get things done
- An environmentally friendly battery made from wood
- Even with defects, graphene is strongest material in the world
- Detection of the cosmic gamma ray horizon: Measures all the light in the universe since the Big Bang
- Genetic engineering alters mosquitoes' sense of smell
- Allosaurus fed more like a falcon than a crocodile, new study finds
- 'Popcorn' particle pathways promise better lithium-ion batteries