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  1. Nieves, Holly DNP, APRN, PPCNP-BC
  2. Clements-Hickman, Alyssa MS
  3. Davies, Claire C. PhD, PT


Parental stress is high when infants are admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit in community-based hospital. This quasi-experimental study explored the effect of implementing the "Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment" (COPE) program on parental stress, postpartum depression, parental satisfaction with care, and length of stay in a community-based hospital. A cohort of nurses completed a 1-day "COPE for HOPE" parent empowerment training session. A nurse implemented the COPE parent training at the bedside soon after birth and extended throughout hospitalization. The following instruments were used to collect data: a demographic data sheet, Parental Stress Scale: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and an investigator-designed parent satisfaction survey. Forty-nine parent sets participated in the study (29 in the intervention group, 20 in the comparison group). A significant difference was found between the groups related to lower parental stress. There was no difference in terms of parental depression scores or length of hospital stay. However, clear trends revealed that parents in the COPE group exhibited lower depression scores. Parents in both groups reported being greater than 95% satisfied with care across all items. These findings may motivate administrators in other community-based hospitals to implement this intervention.