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Family-centered care, Intensive care units, Interviews, Neonatal, Neonatal nursing, Quality improvement.



  1. Axelin, Anna PhD, RN
  2. Ahlqvist-Bjorkroth, Sari MSc
  3. Kauppila, Wiveka MSc, RN
  4. Boukydis, Zack PhD
  5. Lehtonen, Liisa PhD, MD


Purpose: To describe nurses' experiences of a training program promoting family-centered care and its influence on their care practices in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).


Study Design and Methods: Descriptive qualitative interview study. A training program was used to teach nurses and physicians to collaborate closely with parents in infant care. After the program, 22 nurses were interviewed. Participants were asked to describe their current care practices and reflect on training program-initiated changes. The interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.


Results: The main finding was that nurses felt the program had promoted beneficial change regarding family-centered care. The resulting new atmosphere and care practices supported increased parental involvement in infant care. Due to the nurses' increased interaction with parents, they became more aware of the parents' psychosocial situation. The role of the nurse changed from an active caretaker to a facilitator who supported the parents in infant care.


Clinical Implications: The transition from professionally centered NICU care to family-centered care is achievable using a well-designed structured program that involves all staff members. The program was able to change the nurses' attitudes and care practices, signifying a successful implementation of family-centered care.