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  1. Beck, Cheryl Tatano DNSc, CNM, FAAN
  2. Woynar, Jennifer BSN, RN


In this mixed research synthesis on posttraumatic stress in mothers related to their preterm infants' stay in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), we synthesized and integrated a total of 37 studies, 25 of which were quantitative and 12 were qualitative studies. The prevalence rates of NICU mothers with elevated posttraumatic stress symptoms ranged from 18% in the United States to 81% in Turkey. Nine of the 12 studies testing interventions to decrease mothers' stress related to their NICU experiences reported significant results. Content analysis of the qualitative studies' findings revealed 5 themes: stark contrast to images of joyous motherhood, cultural overlay, issues of ownership and control, support, and learning to be a NICU mother.