Child Health Nurs Res.  2021 Jul;27(3):297-307. 10.4094/chnr.2021.27.3.297.

Differences in perceived parental stress between parents with very low birth weight infants and nurses in neonatal intensive care units, South Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Registered Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Professor Emeritus, College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Unit Manager, Hematology Intensive Care Unit, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Purpose
This descriptive study compared the perceived parental stress levels between parents with very low birth weight infants (VLBWIs) and nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Methods
In total, 83 parents of VLBWIs and 78 NICU nurses were enrolled. Data were collected with the Parental Stress Scale (PSS) and analyzed using the t-test and analysis of variance in SAS version 9.4.
Results
The average PSS score was 3.31 among parents and 3.45 among nurses. The stress score was significantly higher among nurses with children (t=2.46, p=.016) and senior nurses (t=2.12, p=.037). There was a significant difference in the stress score according to parents' education (t=3.29, p=.002) and occupation (F=3.14, p=.049) in the sights and sounds subscale. Mothers had significantly higher stress scores than fathers in the parental role alterations subscale (t=2.32, p=.023). Parental stress scores were higher than those perceived by nurses in the infant's appearance and behaviors subscale for breathing patterns (t=2.95, p=.004), followed by jerky/ restless behavior (t=2.70, p=.008).
Conclusion
Nurses should provide explanations to parents of VLBWIs in order to reduce parental stress about the appearances and behavior of VLBWIs. This is more important than aspect of the NICU environment and education about parental roles.

Keyword

Neonatal intensive care unit; Very low birth weight infants; Stress; psychological; Parents; Nurses
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