Mothers' Stories about Their Experiences in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
The purpose of this article is to let mothers tell the stories of their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) experiences and to determine how well these experiences fit the Preterm Parental Distress Model. Interviews were conducted with 31 mothers when their infants were six months of age corrected for prematurity and were analyzed using the conceptual model as a framework. The analysis verified the presence in the data of the six major sources of stress indicated in the Preterm Parental Distress Model: (1) pre-existing and concurrent personal and family factors, (2) prenatal and perinatal experiences, (3) infant illness, treatments, and appearance in the NICU, (4) concerns about the infant's outcomes, (5) loss of the parental role, and (6) health care providers. The study indicates that health care providers, and especially nurses, can have a major role in reducing parental distress by maintaining ongoing communication with parents and providing competent care for their infants.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-04-01
- Neonatal Network®, established in April 1981, is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to assisting neonatal nurses and related health care professionals remain current in their fields. Neonatal Network® acts as a vehicle for the exchange of information by providing up-to-date, relevant articles in the areas of evidence-based clinical practice, research, and education.
Neonatal Network® is issued six times a year; January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August, September/October, and November/December. With a circulation of 10,000, Neonatal Network® goes to more than 1,000 recognized Level II and Level III neonatal intensive care units in the United States.
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