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Authors

  1. Thomson, Gill PhD, MSc
  2. Feeley, Claire PhD, Msc

Abstract

Background: Parents of infants born premature and/or sick and who require neonatal care are at risk of poor mental health. Currently, there is no comprehensive knowledge about interventions (ie, types, evidence, resources) that have been exclusively designed to improve the psychosocial well-being of this population group.

 

Purpose: To undertake a systematic scoping review of interventions focused on improving the psychosocial well-being of parents of sick/premature infants who required neonatal care to identify the (a) types of interventions, (b) evidence of the interventions, and (c) level of resources required to deliver the interventions.

 

Search Strategy: e searched 7 databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Global Index), reviewed references, and followed up key authors.

 

Results: From 10,516 hits, 38 articles met the inclusion criteria (36 different studies/interventions). Studies included creative oriented (n = 11), group/peer support (n = 4), relaxation/mindfulness (n = 3), spiritual/religious (n = 4), psychotherapeutic-based (n = 11), and "other" (n = 3) (eg, sleep, acupuncture). Most had been undertaken in high-income settings with mothers and required varying levels of resources within and between the different intervention types. While some interventions were effective, there was high heterogeneity with similar interventions using different designs, protocols, and outcomes. Most intervention types included studies that highlighted what parents valued (eg, self-care, relaxation, social opportunities).

 

Implications for Research: Evidence highlights a wide range of potential interventions for nursing and other specialist staff to consider and offers insights into potential mechanisms of effectiveness to underpin future intervention design.