1. McDonald, Rebecca BNurs(Hons)
  2. Moloney, Willoughby PhD


Background: Internationally, approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely every year. In New Zealand, 1 neonatal ward may care for 1000 infants annually. Family-centered care (FCC) is a philosophy used in neonates to enhance positive outcomes for infants, parents, and staff by recognizing the strengths and needs of infants and their families.


Objective: This research assessed how a neonatal environment could be improved to ensure parents feel welcomed and empowered to participate in their infant's care.


Participants: Survey data from 67 health professionals and 51 parents of infants who received neonatal care for more than 7 days. Four in-depth interviews with parents and 5 with health professionals.


Methods: A mixed-methods research design was used. Phase 1 collected quantitative data using the Family-Centered Care Questionnaire. Phase 2 composed of face-to-face interviews with health professionals and parents.


Results: Implementing FCC practices to improve health outcomes for infants, parents, and staff is important. Recommendations for improvement were formulated from the themes.


Conclusion: The perspectives of parents and health professionals have enabled the development of recommendations to improve the implementation of FCC practice in the neonatal environment. These may lead to better parental experience and improved infant health outcomes.