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Parents of babies who participated in an invasive clinical study report a positive experience: the Glucose in Well Babies (GLOW) study


Objective There is a paucity of data about normal blood metabolite concentrations in healthy babies, in part because of a reluctance to undertake non-therapeutic invasive testing in newborns. The Glucose in Well Babies study (GLOW) sought to describe blood glucose, lactate and beta-hydroxybutyrate concentrations in healthy term babies over the first 5 postnatal days. We also sought to understand both parents’ experience of participation in this invasive non-therapeutic study.

Design, setting, patients and interventions Eligible babies were healthy, term, appropriately grown singletons born in a birthing centre, hospital or home within the greater Hamilton area and then discharged home. Babies had subcutaneous continuous glucose monitoring placed soon after birth, up to 14 heel-prick blood samples, twice-daily home visits and parents were asked to record all feeds. At study completion, both parents were asked to independently complete a questionnaire about their experience.

Results All eligible babies completed the study and every parent completed the questionnaire (65 fathers, 66 mothers). Parents reported they liked contributing to improving healthcare (126/131, 96%) and support from the GLOW team (119/131, 91%). Nearly all (127/131, 97%) would participate in GLOW again if they had another eligible baby, and all would recommend GLOW to family and friends. Two-thirds of parents (87/131, 66%) reported that participation had made them more likely to contribute to clinical research in the future.

Conclusions Non-therapeutic studies involving invasive procedures in healthy term babies are feasible, and parents were positive about their experience.

  • parent consent
  • healthy participants
  • ethics
  • blood glucose concentrations
  • neonate
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