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Publication Detail
Non evidence-based beliefs increase inequalities in the provision of infant and family centred neonatal care.
AIM: To identify barriers that might explain why healthcare staff struggle to implement infant and family centred developmental care programmes in two neonatal intensive care units in Mexico. METHODS: Ethnographic fieldwork over the course of ten months examined interactions among healthcare professionals, parents and babies in two Mexican publicly funded hospitals. Data are drawn from interviews with 29 parents and 34 healthcare professionals and participant observations in the hospitals' neonatal units. RESULTS: Healthcare professionals believed they acted in babies' best interests by excluding parents from the neonatal unit. Professional frustration with working conditions seemed to be increased by the belief that parents were ignorant and unhygienic. Parents were perceived as a source of infection; in contrast, healthcare professionals failed to see themselves as a possible source of cross-contamination. CONCLUSIONS: Beliefs and biases increase health inequalities when evidenced-based measures to prevent cross-infection and potentially life-saving programmes, such as kangaroo mother care and breastfeeding, are not implemented. It is imperative to develop context-appropriate education and practice guidelines to implement basic programmes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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