Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Understanding factors associated with emotional closeness in parents with a preterm infant in the neonatal intensive care unit




List of Authors: Lebel Valérie, Campbell-Yeo Marsha, Feeley Nancy, Axelin Anna

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication year: 2022

Journal: Early Human Development

Journal name in source: Early human development

Journal acronym: Early Hum Dev

Volume number: 173

ISSN: 0378-3782

eISSN: 1872-6232

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2022.105664


Abstract

Background

There is a dearth of knowledge regarding the specific factors associated with emotional closeness in parents with an infant in the NICU.

Aim

To determine if parental presence, involvement in infant care, holding, skin-to-skin contact (SSC), perceived family-centered care, depression symptoms, and sociodemographic characteristics are associated with the emotional closeness of parents with an infant hospitalized at the NICU.

Study design

This longitudinal descriptive study was conducted in two Canadian level-three NICUs. A sociodemographic questionnaire was completed by parents at enrolment. A closeness diary was completed by each parent for 14 days to measure parental presence, involvement in infant care, holding, SSC, and emotional closeness. One question from the DigiFCC tool was sent daily via text message to the parents' cellphones to measure their perception of the quality of family-centered care they experienced. Parent depression symptoms were measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale at discharge.

Results

A total of 60 families were involved in the study. Increased parental presence (B = 0.21, p < 0.001), increased time involved in infant care (B = 0.14, p < 0.001), increased holding time (B = 0.53, p < 0.001), and greater time in SSC (B = 0.27, p = 0.01) were associated with greater parental emotional closeness.

Conclusion

Several factors may enhance parents' emotional closeness when their infant is in the NICU. Care providers need to be aware and adapt their clinical practices accordingly to promote emotional closeness by encouraging parental presence, involvement in infant care, holding, and skin-to-skin contact.


Last updated on 2022-06-10 at 12:50