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NICU parents' mental health: A comparative study with parents of term and healthy infants
Dalarna University, School of Health and Welfare, Care Sciences. Dalarna University, School of Health and Welfare, Caring Science/Nursing. Uppsala University, Uppsala.
Uppsala University, Uppsala.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3460-7500
Uppsala University, Uppsala.
Örebro University, Örebro.
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2023 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 112, no 5, p. 954-966Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIM: To compare mental health in parents of preterm/ill infants and parents of term and healthy infants before birth and 1 month after hospital discharge.

METHODS: A comparative cohort design was used. In total 439 parents from six neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and 484 parents from four maternity units (MUs) in Sweden answered a survey 1 month after discharge.

RESULTS: Parents in neonatal units experienced significantly more psychologically traumatic births and rated their health and the health of their infants less favourably the first week after delivery than parents in MUs. In the neonatal units, both parents had better possibilities to stay together with the infant during hospital stay. There was no difference between the NICU and MU groups in postpartum depressive symptoms 1 month after discharge. Experiencing a traumatic birth was not related to an increased risk of perinatal depressive symptoms (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale ≥13) for mothers in NICUs. In contrast, the risk of depression increased for mothers in MUs.

CONCLUSION: Family togetherness, parent-infant closeness and emotional support at NICUs may contribute to the positive outcome. Further studies are needed to assess the long-term effects of how family togetherness and closeness influence families long-term.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 112, no 5, p. 954-966
Keywords [en]
NICU, mental health, neonatal care, parents, preterm infants
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-45612DOI: 10.1111/apa.16735ISI: 000952489900001PubMedID: 36853186Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85150763413OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-45612DiVA, id: diva2:1742513
Available from: 2023-03-09 Created: 2023-03-09 Last updated: 2023-04-24Bibliographically approved

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Persson, ChristineEricson, JennyFlacking, Renée

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
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  • de-DE
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Output format
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