1. Weber, Ashley PhD, RN
  2. Kaplan, Heather MD, MSCE
  3. Voos, Kristin MD, FAAP
  4. Elder, Mason BSN, RN
  5. Close, Emma BA
  6. Tubbs-Cooley, Heather PhD, RN, FAAN
  7. Bakas, Tamilyn PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
  8. Hall, Sue MD, MSW, FAAP


Background: A paucity of studies describes the prevalence of family-centered care (FCC) practices and resources in US neonatal units.


Purpose: To identify US prevalence of FCC practices and resources and to identify the largest gaps in resource provision.


Methods: Neonatal nurses completed an online survey through national conferences (eg, NANN educational conference), neonatal organization Web sites (eg, NANN research survey), and social media (eg, NANN and NPA Facebook). Nurses provided demographics and the National Perinatal Association Self-Assessment on Comprehensive Family Support, a 61-item checklist of FCC practices and resources from 6 categories: family-centered developmental care, staff education/support, peer support, palliative care, discharge education, and mental health support.


Results: Nurses (n = 103) reported lowest resources for Peer Support and Mental Health Support. About a third had a neonatal intensive care unit parent advisory committee (n = 39; 37.9%). Only 43.7% (n = 45) had necessary amenities for families to stay with their infants. Less than a third felt that mental health professionals were adequately staffed to provide counseling to parents (n = 28; 27.5%). Very few nurses had adequate training on providing parents psychological support (n = 16; 15.8%). More than half (n = 58; 56.3%) stated that all staff receive training in family-centered developmental care. Finally, less than half (n = 42; 40.8%) stated that staff see parents as equal members of the care team.


Implications for Practice: We demonstrate a consistent and widespread lack of training provided to neonatal staff in nearly every aspect of comprehensive FCC support.


Implications for Research: Researchers need to identify unit/organizational interventions that increase adoption and implementation of FCC practices and resources.