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  1. Couper, Jeannie PhD, RN-BC, CNE


Background: Preterm birth is traumatic for both the infant and parents. Trauma-informed developmental neuroprotective care (TIDNC) may positively influence the outcomes for micro-preemie infants (infants born before 26 weeks' gestation) as well as support parents in crisis.


Purpose: To explore how TIDNC influences micro-preemie parents' perceptions of nursing care and support.


Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at a 56-bed level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). A convenience sample of micro-preemie parents (n = 16, 46%) completed the Nurse Parent Support Tool (NPST) questionnaire, which included 2 open-ended questions.


Results: These parents scored high scores on the NPST (mean = 4.62 +/- 0.24), indicating most parents felt support from the nursing staff and perceived individualized family-centered high-quality nursing care. Subscale scores were higher than all previous studies. Parents perceived high levels of support most of the time to almost always. Although 4 themes were closely associated with the subscales, the fifth theme, Praise has not been previously documented. Parents were grateful for nurses who provided compassionate care and support during one of the most difficult times of their lives.


Implications for Practice: TIDNC encourages robust nurse-parent authentic caring relationships, which are foundational to the parents' perceptions of nursing care and support. These relationships, built on mutual trust, respect, and genuine listening, appear to foster an exceptionally high degree of support.


Implications for Research: More research is needed to examine how unit culture, characteristics of nurses, parents, and infants as well as infant outcomes influence micro-preemie parents' perception of care and further explore the nature of support.