1. Cleveland, Lisa M. PhD, RN, IBCLC
  2. Horner, Sharon D. PhD, RN, FAAN


PURPOSE: To explore the experiences of Mexican-American mothers who have had infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).


PARTICIPANTS: A convenience sample of 15 English-speaking, Mexican-American women was interviewed.


DESIGN: The study used an exploratory qualitative approach.


METHODS: Data collection was conducted through audiotaped, transcribed, semistructured, individual interviews and field notes. The 5 normative cultural values for Latino families-(1) simpatia, (2) personalismo, (3) respeto, (4) familismo, and (5) fatalismo-were used as a sensitizing framework to guide data interpretation.


RESULTS: The women's discussions of their NICU experiences clearly reflect the 5 normative Latino cultural values. Positive and negative exemplars of these values are provided as evidence.


CONCLUSIONS: These findings can be used to inform nursing care provided for Mexican-American mothers and their infants by assisting nurses to customize care to meet the cultural needs of this population.