The study was conducted to determine the effects of sponge bath care on bilirubin levels of neonatals who underwent phototherapy with a diagnosis of hyperbilirubinemia. This experimental study was conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit of hospital in Eastern Turkey. Infants who met the selection criteria were included in the study without performing any sampling. A sponge bath was given to the infants in the experimental group (n=45) prior to phototherapy, and their bilirubin levels were evaluated. Except for routine clinical practices, no intervention was made for the infants in the control group (n=45). Ethical principles were applied in all phases of the study. In the study, no statistically significant difference was found between the groups, when the newborns in the experimental and control groups were compared in terms of gender, mode of delivery, gestational age, birth weight, and birth length or when they were compared in terms of Apgar score and physiological parameters (p>0.05). In the comparison of the bilirubin levels of neonatals included in the study, there was no difference between the experimental and control groups before the intervention; however, after the intervention, the difference between the groups was significant in favor of the experimental group (p<0.05). As a results the bilirubin levels were lower in experimental than control group. In the study, the sponge bath given prior to phototherapy was found to be effective in lowering the bilirubin levels. It is thought that this intervention can be used in neonatal care due to its positive effects. But more studies should be done to prove the decrease bilirubin levels of the sponge bath.
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