NICU primer for occupational therapists: Exploring the needs of fragile infants, the context in which they are cared for, and the role of OT in this specialized practice area – part I of II

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Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, and Early Intervention


Occupational Therapy


The purpose of this article is to provide an introduction to occupational therapy (OT) practice in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). As Part I of a two-part series, this article focuses on the provision of an introduction to the needs of critically ill newborns and the development of their feeding, neuromotor, sensory, and attachment systems. The article further outlines the therapeutic context of the NICU and the role of OT in this environment. The goal of this article is to promote understanding and appreciation of the role of OT in this advanced practice setting.