Birth of a premature infant and hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a stressful phenomenon and lead to parents’ anxiety. In such situation, fathers have important role to reduce mothers’ anxiety. This study aimed to investigate the effect of family-centered intervention in the NICU on the anxiety of parents.
Materials and Methods
In this clinical trial, 60 parents of premature infants hospitalized in the NICU were assigned to two groups using randomization with the block size of 6. Before the intervention, the anxiety of the mothers was measured in both groups. The fathers in the control group received only the routine care of the ward, but those in the intervention group were educated about mother supporting and newborn care 3 times. Furthermore, the parents were given the opportunity to be with their infants for 3 days in order to exchange ideas in the non-visiting hours. One day after the intervention, the anxiety of the mothers was measured in both groups. Data was analyzed by SPSS software (version 11.0).
Most of newborns in both group have delivered by caesarian section (71.4 vs. 64.3%). Investigating the difference between the mean total anxiety scores of parents in the two groups before and after the intervention showed a significant reduction in the anxiety score of the intervention group (97.37 to 75.70) (P<0.000), but no significant difference in the control group (P<0.320).
Results of this study demonstrated that family-centered care and paternal supports reduces the anxiety of the parents of premature infants.