Parents' experiences of caring for their infant following surgery in the neonatal period: A literature review

Janet Diffin, M.D. Shields, S. Cruise, Linda Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research with parents of preterm and low-birth weight infants admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has indicated the following: (i) parents are at risk of experiencing stress associated with the NICU environment; (ii) parents are at risk of short- and longer-term psychological distress; and (iii) the family is at risk of longer-term stress and strain. However, parents of infants admitted to the NICU for surgery are an under-researched population. This paper provides an overview of the current literature in relation to this issue. The results highlight the paucity of research conducted with parents of infants admitted to the NICU for surgery. A number of gaps and limitations were also identified in the current literature, including a lack of examination why some parents cope better than others, and a focus solely on parents of preterm and low birth weight infants. To conclude, further research with parents of infants who had surgery in the first few weeks of life is needed. Such information could help inform clinicians caring for these infants and their families, and would enable identification of those parents and families most at risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-289
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Neonatal Nursing
Volume19
Issue number5
Early online date07 Mar 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2013

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