1. Griffiths, Nadine MN (Clinical Education), BNursing
  2. James-Nunez, Kristen MNAdvPrac, BNursing
  3. Spence, Kaye MN (Research), BEd (Nursing)
  4. Crowle, Cathryn PhD, MSpecEd, BAppSc (OccTh)
  5. Pettigrew, Jane MA, BAppSc (Sp Path)
  6. Loughran-Fowlds, Alison PhD, MBBS, FRACP


Background: Developmentally supportive environments are known to improve medical outcomes for hospitalized neonates and are considered the overarching philosophy for practice in the neonatal setting. Developmental rounds are a strategy incorporated by multidisciplinary teams to support development within and beyond the neonatal unit. Typically, they consist of bedside consultations and individualized developmentally supportive recommendations for families and clinicians. Globally, the use of developmental rounds has been described since the early 1990s. They are viewed as a measure to counter some of the barriers to developmental care implementation while buffering against the effect of an intensive care admission. To date, their use in the surgical neonatal intensive care unit (sNICU) has been minimally reported in literature.


Purpose: This article describes the focus and work of a developmental round team and strategy in the sNICU.


Method: A retrospective audit of developmental round key performance criteria undertaken over a 4-year period (2015-2018).


Findings/Results: More than 300 developmental consults and 2000 individualized developmental recommendations occurred annually. Parental presence during the developmental round increased by 10%, from 48% to 58%, during the audit period.


Implications for Practice/Implications for Research: Literature has supported the use of developmental round interventions; however, minimal data have been reported to date. This article provides retrospective audit data of a developmental round intervention in the sNICU with a focus on data over 4 years to highlight key areas, including the structure and process, recommended educational standards for team members, and parental engagement, as key markers for developmental round efficacy. Future research should focus on the link between the developmental round intervention and long-term neonatal outcomes.