Randomised controlled trial of single phototherapy with reflecting curtains versus double phototherapy in term newborns with hyperbilirubinaemia


  • Conflict of interest: All authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Correspondence: Dr Intan Juliana Abd Hamid, Advanced Medical and Dentistry Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 1 Tingkat 1 Persiaran Seksyen 4/16, Bandar Putra Bertam, 13200 Kepala Batas, Penang, Malaysia. Fax: +6045622345; email: intanjuliana@amdi.usm.edu.my



The use of reflecting curtains with single phototherapy has not yet been directly compared with double phototherapy (DP). The objective of this study is to compare the efficacy of single phototherapy with reflecting curtains (SPRC) and DP in treating neonatal jaundice.


This randomised controlled trial involved 160 term newborns with severe neonatal jaundice in the first 2 weeks of life. The subjects were randomised in two groups: the intervention group receiving SPRC (n = 80) and a control group receiving DP (n = 80). Because of post-hoc exclusions, 78 subjects resulted in each group, respectively. The primary outcome was mean decrease in total serum bilirubin (TSB) levels after 4 h of phototherapy. The secondary outcomes were mean decrease in TSB levels after 10 h of phototherapy and duration of phototherapy.


The mean decrease in TSB after 4 h of phototherapy in the intervention group was similar for the intervention and the control groups (23.46 ± 27.03 vs. 22.43 ± 27.38 μmol/L; P = 0.81). Also, after 10 h, it was similar in both groups (56.06 ± 31.36 vs. 58.17 ± 31.71 μmol/L, respectively; P = 0.67). Cox proportional hazards regression analysis indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in duration of phototherapy in both intervention (SPRC) and control (DP) (x2 change 0.393, P = 0.531; hazard ratio 1.060; 95% confidence interval 0.883–1.273). There were no significant adverse events noted.


This study suggested that single phototherapy with reflecting curtain is as effective as DP in the treatment of neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia requiring intensive phototherapy.