Date of this Version
Neonatal intensive care unit personnel and parents often are concerned that developmental assessment will tire preterm neonates and impair their feeding ability and subsequent weight gain. Therefore, the amount of fluid consumed by 108 preterm neonates (≤36.5 wk gestational age) was compared before and after administration of the Neurobehavioral Assessment of the Preterm Infant (NAPI). In addition, the weight gain of 35 preterm neonates who were administered the NAPI was compared with that of a matched control group of 35 preterm neonates who were not administered the NAPI. There were no differences in the amount of fluid consumed before and after NAPI administration, and there were no differences in weight gain between neonates who were and were not administered the NAPI. The effects of NAPI administration did not differ as a function of gestational age group. Therefore, the NAPI can be administered safely to preterm neonates without affecting feeding performance or weight gain.