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Sudden unexpected infant death is the leading cause of infant mortality with black: white infant mortality remaining at 2:1 for the last decade. Smartphone technology provides a convenient and accessible tool for injury prevention anticipatory guidance among at-risk communities.
Materials and Methods:
A convenience sample of pregnant teen mothers who own a smartphone. During a 1-month postnatal home visit, a safe sleep environment survey was administered, infant sleep practices were observed, and mothers trained to take and submit standard infants’ sleep environment photographs. Photographs were independently assessed for inter-rater reliability (IRR) across five sleep safety domains (primary outcome): sleep location, surface, position, presence of soft items, and hazards near the sleep area. Expert and novice coders IRR was measured using Cohen’s kappa coefficient (K). Sleep safety correlation between photographs and observation, and parent report and observation was determined.
Sixteen (57.1%) mothers completed the home visit. Most parents reported infants sleeping supine (78.5) in parents’ bedroom (85.9%). Photographs demonstrated sleep position, soft items without the baby present, and hanging toys had perfect agreement across all three coder pairs. Safe sleep experts’ IRR demonstrated perfect agreement for sleep location, position, and soft items. While 83.8% of parents were observed putting their infants down to sleep on their back, 78.5% of parents reported doing the same and 82.4% of the photographs demonstrated supine infant sleep position.
Using photographs, coders can reliably categorize some key infant sleep safety aspects, and photograph sleep safety is comparable to parent report and direct observation.