2010 Volume 22 Issue 2 Pages 109-115
[Purpose] The aim of this study was to evaluate the stress behavior of infants with preventricular leukomalacia (PVL) using direct behavioral observation. [Subjects] The participants were 15 infants with and 73 infants without PVL. [Methods] This research examined infants' stress behaviors in response to handling during a Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) exam. Observation of the stress behaviors was recorded at the bedside. Infants' behaviors were simultaneously videotaped. The assessment was performed at the postconceptional age of 38-40 weeks (term). [Results] The with-PVL group showed significantly higher frequency of stress behaviors in the autonomic (pale/cyanotic, tremor, startle, twitch), motor (arm flexion, legs extension, jerky movements, finger splay, arching, salute, hand clasp, foot clasp, holding on, flaccidity, grimacing) and state-orientation (fuss, panicked or worried alertness, gaze aversion, high pitched cry) subsystems compared with the without-PVL group. [Conclusion] Behavioral observations may help clinicians assess preterm infant neurological status and provide useful information for facilitating the development and adaptability of infants' behavioral organization.