This paper describes the results of an infant stimulation program that involved mothers and their infants registered at Mother and Child Health Care centers in Jerusalem. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the mothers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding the developmental needs of their infants. A developmental assessment was used to evaluate the infants’ reaching and grasping abilities at 4 months of age.
The questionnaire was completed by 175 mothers in the program (the experimental group) and a control group of 124 mothers. The results showed that, despite demographic differences that were likely to positively affect the control group’s scores, the experimental group’s scores were significantly higher. The results of the developmental assessment administered to 107 infants in the experimental group and 74 infants in the control group also indicated that, on 4 out of 5 reaching and grasping items, the experimental group performed significantly better.
This study emphasizes the value of structuring a developmental curriculum for newborn infants and their mothers within an occupational therapy program.