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  1. Kamphorst, Kim MSc
  2. Brouwer, Annemieke J. PhD, RN
  3. Poslawsky, Irina E. PhD, RN
  4. Ketelaar, Marjolijn PhD
  5. Ockhuisen, Hetty PhD, RN
  6. van den Hoogen, Agnes PhD, RN


The presence of parents during a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission is important for the well-being of both infants and their parents. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify parental presence in terms of frequency, duration, and activities in the NICU in relation to characteristics of both infants and parents. An observational study was performed in a Dutch level III NICU. All infants admitted for more than 24 hours were included. One hundred sixty-two infants were included. For a median duration of 3 to 4 hours a day, at least one of the parents was present. After the first week after birth, 80% of both parents participated in the care of their infant. A vaginal delivery, longer duration of kangaroo care, higher birth weight, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, being a first child, the second and following admission week(s) after birth, and a short driving distance led to a significantly longer duration of presence for both parents. Mothers were present for a significantly longer duration of time than fathers (P = .00). It is recommended that public and employer policies, as well as physical conditions and necessary facilities, in the NICU be examined for their support of parental presence.