The purpose of this study was to compare results found using a total summative score of abnormal reflex responses with the results found using individual reflex scores. The 20 reflexes included as part of the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) were assessed on 196 neonates on the 1st and 2nd days postnatally. Differences due to of type of delivery, birth weight, whether their mothers were insulin-dependent diabetics or nondiabetics, and day of testing were assessed by using analysis of variance. The key results were that all effects found using the total reflex score were replicated with individual reflex scores and that individual reflex scores also revealed effects not shown using the total score. It was concluded that the individual reflex scores, rather than the total score, should be used when evaluating newborn reflex performance.
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