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Type: Journal article
Title: Mothers’ experiences of the NICU and a NICU support group programme
Author: Turner, M.
Chur-Hansen, A.
Winefield, H.
Citation: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 2015; 33(2):165-179
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd.,
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0264-6838
Statement of
Melanie Turner, Anna Chur-Hansen and Helen Winefield
Abstract: Objective: to understand both the maternal experience of the NICU and mothers’ views of a NICU Parent Support Group. Background: mothers of babies who are born prematurely have their first experiences of parenting while their infant is in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This presents multiple challenges and a range of stresses related to their role as a mother and concerns about their baby’s survival and growth. Thus, various supportive interventions have been trialled with this NICU parent population. However, the focus of this support and how it should be delivered lacks research as an evidence base for practice. Mothers’ experiences of the NICU and a professionally facilitated NICU support group at a city hospital were explored in this qualitative research study. Method: nine mothers were interviewed in 2010 while their babies were NICU inpatients. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically. Results: the NICU admission resulted in participant mothers facing challenges in getting to know their baby, forming their parenting role while in the NICU, and a reliance upon, but resentment toward, nursing staff. Positive feelings about their baby’s strengths were also apparent. The parent support group was an important part of managing the experience of the NICU and was reported to meet the emotional support needs of these NICU parents. Conclusion: the implications and recommendations for NICU-based emotional support are discussed. In particular, modifications to support group structures to ensure professional staff involvement and a balance between education and emotional care are reviewed.
Keywords: neonatal intensive care; psychosocial factors; mothers; interviews; mothers’ experiences
Rights: © 2015 Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology
RMID: 0030022014
DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2014.998184
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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