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Keywords

family-centered care, fathering, fathers, infants (premature), interpretive phenomenology, neonatal intensive care, parenting, qualitative research, technology

 

Authors

  1. Pohlman, Shawn PhD, RN

Abstract

The experiences of 9 fathers of premature infants in the technological environment of the neonatal intensive care unit were examined using interpretive methods. Fathers were interviewed 6 to 8 times each. Findings revealed emotional costs for fathers as technology often took precedence. Fathers' feelings of frustration, fear, and alienation were hidden from nurses, as fathers were silent and silenced. Fathers perceived a power dynamic between themselves and nurses, which may be due, in part, to a complex interplay between the technological imperative and gender dynamics. Two exemplars illustrated how fathers forged emotional connections with their babies despite the technological imperative.