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Eight principles for patient-centred and family-centred care for newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit
  1. Jean-Michel Roué1,
  2. Pierre Kuhn2,
  3. Maria Lopez Maestro3,
  4. Ragnhild Agnethe Maastrup4,
  5. Delphine Mitanchez5,
  6. Björn Westrup6,
  7. Jacques Sizun7
  1. 1Department of Neonatal Medicine, CHRU de Brest, Brest, France
  2. 2Department of Neonatal Medicine, University Hospital of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  3. 3Neonatal Unit, 12 de Octubre Hospital, SAMID Network, Madrid, Spain
  4. 4Department of Neonatology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. 5Division of Neonatology, Department of Perinatology, Hopital Armand-Trousseau, Paris, France
  6. 6Department of Neonatology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  7. 7Department of Neonatal Medicine, CHRU de Brest, Brest, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jean-Michel Roué, Service de reanimation pédiatrique, Hôpital Morvan, 2 Avenue Foch, Brest, Cedex 29609, France; jean-michel.roue{at}


Despite the recent improvements in perinatal medical care leading to an increase in survival rates, adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes occur more frequently in preterm and/or high-risk infants. Medical risk factors for neurodevelopmental delays like male gender or intrauterine growth restriction and family sociocultural characteristics have been identified. Significant data have provided evidence of the detrimental impact of overhelming environmental sensory inputs, such as pain and stress, on the developing human brain and strategies aimed at preventing this impact. These strategies, such as free parental access or sleep protection, could be considered ‘principles of care’. Implementation of these principles do not require additional research due to the body of evidence. We review the scientific evidence for these principles here.

  • Neonatology
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Sleep
  • Pain
  • Evidence Based Medicine

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.