Open Access Research article

Maternal satisfaction with a novel filtered-sunlight phototherapy for newborn jaundice in Southwest Nigeria

Bolajoko O Olusanya1*, Zainab O Imam2, Cecilia A Mabogunje2, Abieyuwa A Emokpae2 and Tina M Slusher3

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Healthy Start Initiative, 286A Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria

2 Massey Street Children’s Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

3 Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota and Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN 55415, USA

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BMC Pediatrics 2014, 14:180  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-180

Published: 10 July 2014



In many resource-limited settings, the availability of effective phototherapy for jaundiced infants is frequently hampered by lack of, or inadequate resources to acquire and maintain conventional electric-powered phototherapy devices. This study set out to ascertain maternal experience and satisfaction with a novel treatment of infants with significant hyperbilirubinemia using filtered sunlight phototherapy (FSPT) in a tropical setting with irregular access to effective conventional phototherapy.


A cross-sectional satisfaction survey was conducted among mothers of jaundiced infants treated with FSPT in an inner-city maternity hospital in Lagos, Nigeria from November 2013 to March 2014. Mothers’ experience during treatment was elicited with a pretested questionnaire consisting of closed and open-ended items. Satisfaction was rated on a five-point Likert scale. Correlates of overall maternal satisfaction were explored with descriptive and inferential non-parametric statistics.


A total of 191 mothers were surveyed, 77 (40%) of whom had no prior knowledge of neonatal jaundice. Maternal satisfaction was highest for quality of nursing care received (mean: 4.72 ± 0.55, median: 5[IQR: 5–5]) and lowest for physical state of the test environment (mean: 3.85 ± 0.74, median: 4[IQR: 3–4]). The overall rating (mean: 4.17 ± 0.58, median: 4[IQR: 4–5]) and the observed effect of FSPT on the babies (mean: 4.34 ± 0.58, 4[IQR: 4–5]) were quite satisfactory. FSPT experience was significantly correlated with the adequacy of information received (p < 0.0005), test environment (p = 0.002) and the observed effect of FSPT on the child (p < 0.0005). Almost all mothers (98.4%) indicated willingness to use FSPT in future or recommend it to others, although some (30 or 15.7%) disliked the idea of exposing newborns to sunlight.


Mothers of jaundiced newborns in this population are likely to be satisfied with FSPT where it is inevitable as an alternative to conventional electric-powered phototherapy. Adequate information, good test environment and friendly nursing care must be ensured for satisfactory maternal experience.

Neonatal jaundice; Newborn care; Sunlight exposure; Patient satisfaction; Phototherapy; Developing country