Research Critique of Study on Newborn Temperature Regulation

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The authors (Chiu, Anderson, & Burkhammer, 2005) of the article present all the essential components of the research study. There will be a decrease in temperature in the newborn if having difficulties breastfeeding while having skin-to-skin contact with the mother. That was the inferred hypothesis. The method used to gather the information was a pretest-test-posttest study design and the sample consisted of 48 full-term infants. The key findings showed most infants reached and maintained temperatures between 36.5 and 37.6 degrees Celsius, the thermo neutral range, with only rare exceptions. Problem Statement

The research problem is thermoregulation in newborn infants. The purpose of the research study is to find out if Kangaroo, or skin-to-skin contact, facilitates safe temperatures in newborn infants during the first few minutes and hours after birth, specifically during breastfeeding. In this article the problem statement is written clearly and it expresses a relationship between two or more variables, specifically temperature and skin-to-skin contact. In this study the problem statement is testable and states a specific population being studied (full-term newborns). The significance to nursing is apparent in the problem statement. It is important for newborns to maintain a body temperature within a normal range so that "caloric expenditure and oxygen consumption are minimal. If excessive effort is needed to produce heat when cold stress persists, newborn infants may experience adverse metabolic events such as hypoxemia, acidosis, and hypoglycemia" (Chiu et al., 2005. p. 115 as cited in Kenner, 2003). Literature Review

The literature review is comprehensive and makes explicit the relationship among the variables and discusses the relevant concepts. All sources are relevant to the study topic and are critically appraised. Both classic and current sources are included ranging in date from 1977 to 2004. Most sources are primary sources but only supporting research is presented. Chiu et al states that one gap in knowledge about the problem identified is that "temperature has not been reported in studies of skin-to-skin contact with a focus on the breastfeeding process." This study intends to fill the gaps by studying mothers and newborns that are having trouble breastfeeding between 12 and 24 hours after birth. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework is clearly identified and based on a nursing theory and is appropriate for the study. The concepts and relationships between the concepts are clearly stated. The researcher does not provide a schematic diagram of the proposed relationships. There is sufficient literature to support the study and a propositional statement is identified in the abstract that will guide the hypothesis. Chiu et al states this as, "Concern persists that infants will become cold while breastfeeding, however, especially if in skin-to-skin contact with the mother." Hypothesis/Research Question

The hypothesis is not directly stated in the article. The inferred hypothesis is the temperature of the newborn will decrease during skin-to-skin contact while experiencing difficulties breastfeeding. The dependent variable is temperature and the independent variable is skin-to-skin contact. The hypothesis is testable. Sample

The sample was selected by recruiting from the University MacDonald's Women's Hospital between February and October of 2002. Convenience sampling was used and was appropriate to the design of the study. But Chiu et al states that because most infants were appropriate for gestational age and "most mothers were 28 years old on average, married, and had delivered virginally… it may not be possible to generalize [these] results to other populations." The sample size was appropriate and the sample was ethnically diverse. The demographic characteristics of the sample are listed in a table. Two couples withdrew from the study. One because of too many...
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