The Impact of Kangaroo Care on Pain in Term Newborns Receiving Intramuscular Injections


Poster Presentation


To determine whether Kangaroo Care (KC) reduces pain in term, well newborns receiving intramuscular vitamin K injections.


Single blinded, randomized controlled trial.


Inpatient labor and delivery unit of a 132-bed community-based hospital.


One hundred and sixty term, well newborns ≤2 hours of age.


Newborns were randomly assigned to receive vitamin K intramuscular (IM) injections either with KC or while under a radiant warmer. Data were collected at baseline and at assigned intervals for 2 minutes following the injection. Newborn pain was assessed using the Neonatal Infant Pain Scale (NIPS) and duration of crying.


NIPS scores for the intervention group were significantly less than the control group at all intervals during the 2-minute data collection period. NIPS scores were reduced overall by 31%. NIPS scores decreased by 12% immediately after the injection, 25% at 30 seconds, 50% at 1 minute, and 67% at 2 minutes. These individual data collection intervals indicate that when compared to the control group infants receiving KC experience less pain overall and their pain decreases more quickly over the 2-minute data collection period. In addition, total cry time was 24% less for the intervention group.

Conclusion/Implications for Nursing Practice

KC significantly decreases newborn pain and duration of crying during IM injections; it is well received by mothers, provides numerous benefits to the mother–infant dyad, and has no know adverse effects.