Vol 80, No 5 (2009)

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Evaluation of stress responses in parents of newborns hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit

Tomasz Szczapa, Joanna Gadzinowska-Szczucińska, Aleksandra Jopek
Ginekol Pol 2009;80(5).


Summary Aim: To analyze the results of an investigation about the influence of newborn hospitalization at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on emotional status of the parents. Material and methods: The survey was conducted among 98 parents of the newborns hospitalized in the NICU with the use of the PPS-NICU questionnaire. The questionnaire included potential stress factors such as ward environment, treatment procedures as well as the role of the parents in such circumstances. Results: Factors causing the most severe parental stress proved to be: respiratory distress of the newborn, the necessity of mechanical ventilatory support and vital signs monitor alarm activation. Differences in stress levels between mothers and fathers were presented on the basis of their own estimation of the relationship with the child and understanding of their individual parental roles. Conclusions: Results of the study indicate that it is possible to decrease the stress level among parents of the NICU patients by explaining the background of the disease, the current clinical condition of the newborn, the necessity of diagnostic and treatment procedures and involving the parents in the basic care of the newborn.

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