Importance of Infant Massage in Parenting Enhancement among Recovering Substance-Abusing Mothers: Focus on Maternal-Infant Interaction, Hope, and Infant Safety

Monday, 13 July 2009: 3:05 PM

College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Brian O. Porter, MD, PhD, MPH
Department of Allergy and IInfectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Learning Objective 1: 1. discuss the importance of incorporating infant massage in parenting skills enhancement programs.

Learning Objective 2: 2. describe the use of infant massage in improving maternal-infant interaction, hope, and infant safety among recovering substance-abusing mothers(SAMs).

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a blended infant massage-parenting enhancement program on hope, maternal-infant interaction, and infant safety in recovering SAMs.

Methods: The study used a randomized, controlled experimental design with two levels of treatment: the IMPEP and PEP. A third non-intervention group served as control. Clusters of 3 to 7 SAM-infant pairs (n=150) were randomized into one of three study groups within each study site. All participants received standard health services while structured parenting interventions were reserved for IMPEP and PEP mothers. IM was taught only to IMPEP mothers. Both IMPEP and PEP classes were held for 4 weeks (2 hrs/week for IMPEP; 1 ½ hrs/week for PEP) at each study site, and included focused discussions on child care practices, IM demonstration and practice. The data were collected at baseline (Wk0), post-intervention (Wk5), and follow-up (Wk12), using questionnaires and guided interview. Data analysis used descriptive and inferential statistics, where appropriate.

Results: The mothers had a mean age of 29 years, a history of 3-4 abortions, and a mean number of 3 children. Nearly 75% of the mothers have middle to high school level of education; 83% reported a yearly income of $10,000 or less. Significant relationships were found between hope and MIA (r=.562, p=.005); MIA and infant safety (r=.6.2, p=.003). There a significant difference between the IMPEP and PEP at Week 12, and the control group at Week 6 and Week 12.

Conclusion: The IM factor appears to have a value added effect of parenting programs on maternal and infant health outcomes. MIA was evident when the mother experienced high hope levels; and in turn, positively improved infant safety. Findings can produce a database for nurse practitioners, and substance abuse service providers for development of client-tailored parenting enhancement programs, incorporating infant massage.