Kangaroo mother care (KMC) is an intervention aimed at improving outcomes among preterm and low birth weight newborns.
Conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis estimating the association between KMC and neonatal outcomes.
PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, African Index Medicus (AIM), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Information System (LILACS), Index Medicus for the Eastern Mediterranean Region (IMEMR), Index Medicus for the South-East Asian Region (IMSEAR), and Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM).
We included randomized trials and observational studies through April 2014 examining the relationship between KMC and neonatal outcomes among infants of any birth weight or gestational age. Studies with <10 participants, lack of a comparison group without KMC, and those not reporting a quantitative association were excluded.
Two reviewers extracted data on study design, risk of bias, KMC intervention, neonatal outcomes, relative risk (RR) or mean difference measures.
1035 studies were screened; 124 met inclusion criteria. Among LBW newborns, KMC compared to conventional care was associated with 36% lower mortality(RR 0.64; 95% [CI] 0.46, 0.89). KMC decreased risk of neonatal sepsis (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.34, 0.83), hypothermia (RR 0.22; 95% CI 0.12, 0.41), hypoglycemia (RR 0.12; 95% CI 0.05, 0.32), and hospital readmission (RR 0.42; 95% CI 0.23, 0.76) and increased exclusive breastfeeding (RR 1.50; 95% CI 1.26, 1.78). Newborns receiving KMC had lower mean respiratory rate and pain measures, and higher oxygen saturation, temperature, and head circumference growth.
Lack of data on KMC limited the ability to assess dose-response.
Interventions to scale up KMC implementation are warranted.