Date of Award

December 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Teresa S Johnson

Committee Members

Michele Polfuss, Emmanuel Ngui, Sandeep Gopalakrishnan


diaper dermatitis, diaper rash, infants, neonatal, NICU, skin safety model



Purpose: Describe the prevalence of diaper dermatitis (DD) and clinical characteristics of the infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that develop DD. Explore the relationships between clinical characteristics and the development of DD.

Design: Retrospective, exploratory, descriptive study

Setting: Level IV NICU in an urban community in Southeast Wisconsin.

Participants: A convenience sample of 611 infants who were born and admitted to the NICU within 12 hours of life and discharged from the same NICU. A final total of 537 infants remained after exclusion criteria were met.

Methods: Data were collected from the participant’s electronic health records from birth until the infant was discharged to home.

Results: The prevalence of DD among the 537 infants was 34% (n = 180). A logistic regression demonstrated length of stay was significant, (B = 0.02, OR = 1.02, p = .002), indicating the odds of developing DD increased by ~2% for each additional day in the NICU. Days from birth to full feedings was also significant (B = -0.03, OR = 0.97, p = .023), indicating the odds of developing DD decreased by ~3% for each additional day to full feedings.

Conclusions: Increased preventative measures among preterm infants at risk for an extended length of stay can potentially decrease the prevalence of DD.

Included in

Nursing Commons