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Authors

  1. Merritt, Linda PhD, RNC-NIC, CNE

Abstract

Having a child admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is traumatic for both parents, but mothers and fathers may have different experiences, and thus, different needs. The purpose of this integrative review was to identify the needs of fathers of premature infants. A systematic review of 7 databases was conducted, and studies were evaluated by the Critical Appraisal Programme checklist. To provide structure for searching and reporting findings, the Whittemore and Knafle interpretive methodology and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis methodology were used. A total of 19 articles were identified. The resulting themes included: need to be close to infant and involved in infant's care; need for information; need for a better NICU environment; need for emotional support; and need for a relationship with the NICU staff.