Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing



Research Sponsor

Diane Lorenzen

First Reader

Debra Horning

Second Reader

Christine Young


Approximately 64,000 preterm infants are born annually in the United States. With preterm infants enduring between 10-16 painful procedures daily, it is important for nurses to use interventions that effectively decrease pain. Procedural pain in premature infants may result in short-term and long-term negative physical, cognitive, and emotional effects. Kangaroo care is the act of holding an infant making skin on skin contact. The purpose of this systematic review is to identify, review, and critically appraise the evidence from studies examining the effect of Kangaroo Care on procedural pain in premature infants. Literature was searched in university databases and Google Scholar for relevant studies, which were selected based on criteria of intervention studies, sampling methods, use of Kangaroo Care, and use of measurable pain scales. Studies are discussed based on the pain measurement tool, type of procedure, and specific study characteristics. The evidence was critically appraised. Limitations and gaps in knowledge are described. Recommendations for further studies and implementation of Kangaroo Care are identified.