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Part 1: a qualitative description of participation in an eight-week infant skin integrity study

02 April 2021
Volume 29 · Issue 4



The qualitative phase of the Baby Skin Integrity Comparison Survey (BaSICS) study was designed to address a dearth of information about research recruitment and retention, and how mothers make decisions about neonatal skincare.


The aim of the qualitative phase of the BaSICS study was to explore participants' experience of participating in the research and how this interrelated with the experience of newborn skincare.


Semi-structured, face-to-face or telephonic interviews were used to collect data. Interviews were transcribed verbatim. Data analysis used both software and manual methods.


Motivation included both altruism and personal benefits. The bespoke smartphone application was a convenient and easy tool for data collection, and being afforded full responsibility for observing and recording infant skin condition increased mothers' awareness of skin changes. Family, friends and the internet were the most commonly used sources of information about baby skincare.


The qualitative interview component of the BaSICS study provided information that could not have been deduced from the daily survey and final questionnaire alone. This provides valuable guidance for future research in the field of infant skincare.

Part 1 of this paper describes the methods, analysis and findings of the qualitative phase of a larger research project, the Baby Skin Integrity Comparison Survey (BaSICS), and begins a discourse on these factors by a closer examination of the first two major themes identified. Part 2 explores the remaining three themes in greater detail, using the participants' own words and situating these in context by reference to relevant literature.

The primary phase of the study, with a sample of 698 mother/baby pairs, sought to determine whether variations occurred in the incidence of infant diaper dermatitis or nappy rash (IDD) when different brands of baby wipes were used during nappy changes. The brand of nappy was the same across all three arms of the study. The results of the main body of this study, comprising 55 days of maternal observations and surveys conducted using a custom-designed smartphone application, have previously been reported (Price et al, 2020; MacVane Phipps et al, 2021).

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