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Committee Members

Sheri Ricciardi, CNT, OTR/L, NTMTC , Kristen Pataki, OTD, OTR/L, ATRIC, Karen Keptner PhD, OTR/L


The role of the parent being the primary caregiver is interrupted in the NICU by the advanced care the infant is being provided. These parental role alterations that NICU caregivers experience can negatively impact the parent-infant relationship and ultimately negatively impact overall parental engagement. Even with increased literature showing the need for developmental care through co-occupational engagement with NICU families, it is not systematically integrated into everyday practice. This capstone project aimed to create a systematic way to improve Occupational Therapists’ approach to delivering high quality developmental care through co-occupational parent engagement within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Date

Spring 2023


NICU, premature, neonate, co-occupation, development, engagement, caregiver, OT, program, implementation, procedure


Occupational Therapy

Improving the delivery of developmental care in the NICU: A focus on co-occupational engagement