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Research Article  |   June 1994
Infant Mental Health in Occupational Therapy Practice in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Author Affiliations
  • Judith A. Olson, MS, OTR, is an Instructor, Occupational Therapy Program, Associated Health Professions, Eastern Michigan University, King Hall, Room 328, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
  • Kathleen Baltman, MA, is Clinical Coordinator–Infant Mental Health Graduate Certificate Program, Merrill Palmer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Article Information
Mental Health / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Special Issue on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Research Article   |   June 1994
Infant Mental Health in Occupational Therapy Practice in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 1994, Vol. 48, 499-505. doi:10.5014/ajot.48.6.499
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 1994, Vol. 48, 499-505. doi:10.5014/ajot.48.6.499
Abstract

The Work of supporting an infant’s emotional development and mental health begins in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). It depends on understanding the family and uses the parallel processes involved in relationship building to maximize the environment for the optimal development of the infant in the NICU. Occupational therapy service provision is discussed in light of knowledge about the developmental work of the full-term neonates and their parents and the corresponding work of infants in the NICU and their families. A brief vignette of occupational therapy services provided in the context of a relationship-focused infant mental health model is included.