Theory of Infants' Transition Management from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to Home: a Qualitative Study

Authors

1 Assistant Professor Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Associated Professor, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

4 Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Abstract

Background: Infant's transition is a challenge for parents and the health system that requires ongoing assessment and management to improve each newborn`s growth and development. The purpose of this study was to explore the management of infant` transition from neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to home.


Materials and Methods: We used a grounded theory study to explore and describe the management of infants’ transition from the NICU to the home. Interviews were conducted with 31 professionals and 20 family members, and participant observations were made in hospitals, clinics, and one physician office. MAXQDA was utilized for coding and categorizing data.


Results: The theory illustrated six phenomena: An unexpected separation; A crisis situation; Mother-infant rebonding; Protection of the infant’s health; Promotion of growth and development; and Inadequate management causing disability. Together, these formed a three-phase process consisting of: A threat to the infant's life, Efforts to save the infant's life, and Continuation of life.
 Conclusion: Development of the theory of  infants transition provides a three phases process ( A threat to the infant’s life, Efforts to save the infant’s life, and Continuation of life), that  can yield   guidelines to  manage  the infant` transition in prevent mother–infant separation, support parents in their role as primary caregivers, and follow up with individual home visits by nurses.

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