1. Eschiti, Valerie S. PhD, RN, CHTP, AHN-BC

Article Content


Gavey J. J Neonat Nurs. 2007;13:199-206.


This retrospective, qualitative study examined parents' experiences of having an infant hospitalized in a neonatal unit in the United Kingdom. The author notes that because parents are an integral part of the neonates' care, it is vital to increase the understanding of parents' needs.


A purposive sample of parents of 20 infants were interviewed using a semistructured interview format. A total of 16 interviews were conducted; 16 mothers were interviewed, with 9 of the fathers present during the interviews. Parents described their journey through the neonatal unit from admission to discharge. Themes discovered were Parental Impressions, Care Delivery, Impact on Relationships, and Parental Control Issues.


The author maintains that findings from the study indicate that neonatal admission can be distressing for parents and that even though they may outwardly exhibit patience and compliance, inwardly, parents may be struggling to keep pace with circumstances. The author posits that nurses need to recognize the fragility of parents and how to best support them in order for optimal recovery of the baby, with return to the family unit.



Joseph RA, Mackley AB, Davis CG, Spear ML, Locke RG. Adv Neonat Care. 2007;7(6):321-325.


A descriptive, correlational study was conducted with 22 fathers of infants in a surgical neonatal intensive care unit in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States to identify and measure the fathers' perceived stress. The authors note that past studies have focused on mothers' experiences of having a newborn hospitalized but that fathers' experiences have been largely unexplored.


The Parent Stressor Scale: Infant Hospitalization is a 22-item scale measuring stress and contains 3 subscales (parental role alteration, infant appearance and behavior, and sights and sounds in the unit). Each stressor is listed with a 5-point rating scale (1 = least applicable stressor to 5 = most applicable stressor). The maximum possible score for a father is 110.


The total score for fathers ranged from 46 to 96, with a mean of 75. Parental role alteration and infant appearance factors were associated with elevated stress levels (P < .001). None of the fathers scored items under sights and sounds as very stressful or extremely stressful.


In the area of parental role alternation, the most stressful item for fathers was inability to protect the baby from pain. For infant appearance, seeing the baby in pain was most stressful for fathers. The authors suggest better dialogue regarding pain management needs to occur between nurses and fathers. The authors conclude that healthcare personnel in surgical neonatal intensive care units need to pay attention to stress levels of parents, including the fathers.