Studies have suggested the possible benefits of prophylactic administration of probiotics to the premature infant for the prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). A survey was designed to determine the knowledge and practices of neonatal intensive care practitioners regarding the use of probiotics for the prevention of NEC in the premature infant. One hundred seventy-one surveys were completed. Most respondents were neonatal nurse practitioners (n = 100, 59%). Most (64%, n = 110) indicated that NEC was a significant problem; however, only 13 (8%) of these respondents used probiotics for the prevention of NEC. Eighty-six respondents (57%) identified the lack of published studies on the use of probiotics for the prevention of NEC as the reason for not administering probiotics. No statistically significant relationship was found between the use of probiotics for the prevention of NEC and duration of practice, location of practice, or willingness to try new treatments. A statistically significant relationship was revealed between the use of probiotics in general and the use of probiotics for the prevention of NEC. More research is needed in the area of probiotics and the prevention of NEC in the premature infant before a practice change can be considered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics