Qualitative Description of Neonatal Expert Perspectives About Necrotizing Enterocolitis Risk

Sheila M. Gephart, Sasha N. Poole, Dennis R. Crain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to provide rich description of experts' perspectives about necrotizing enterocolitis risk. Comments from 35 NEC experts were coded by two reviewers, grouped into categories and organized into themes. From 93 category codes, 9 meta-categories, and two broad themes were derived. NEC risk was considered to arise from both individual factors of vulnerability and variation in neonatal care practices. Controversy arose about the role of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and its treatment, transfusions, risk differences based on gestational age, efficacy and safety of probiotics in prevention, and the role of antibiotic exposure and multiple infections. Experts indicated the need for a stronger evidence base about NEC risk yet experts cited a lack of a strong evidence base on occasion when good to high quality evidence was available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-130
Number of pages7
JournalNewborn and Infant Nursing Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Neonatal intensive care
  • Neonate
  • Nursing
  • Premature infant
  • Qualitative description
  • Quality
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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