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A comparison of parent and staff perceptions of setting-specific and everyday stressors encountered by parents with very preterm infants experiencing neonatal intensive care.
Early Hum Dev. 2014 Oct; 90(10):549-55.EH

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Stress responses among parents of premature infants experiencing the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) environment are widely reported. However, less is known about how nurses perceive parents' experiences or how stressors relating to demands on family finances and practical challenges associated with infant hospitalization contribute to parental stress levels in the NICU.

OBJECTIVE

1) To compare parent and staff perceptions of the stressors facing parents experiencing neonatal intensive care; and 2) to develop a scale suitable for identifying stressors outside the NICU setting.

METHODS

At infant 34 weeks, parents (n=21) of very preterm infants (≤ 32 weeks GA) and NICU nurses (n=23) completed the Parental Stressor Scale: NICU (PSS: NICU) and a custom-made External Stressor Scale (ESS: NICU).

RESULTS

Nurses perceived parents to experience higher stress in the NICU than parents themselves (ps<0.00001), with parents reporting low-to-moderate stress and staff rating parental stress as moderate-to-high. Parents reported slightly lower levels of stress on the ESS: NICU, with nurses again overestimating the level of parental stress (ps<0.00001). Consideration of the extent of nurses' medical experience did not alter results. The ESS: NICU showed good internal reliability, with PCAs revealing all items to load onto a single component. Additional analyses demonstrated divergent validity, with no relation evident with stress responses on the PSS: NICU.

CONCLUSIONS

Periodic reassessments of staff and parent perceptions should be encouraged along with research dedicated to a fuller understanding of the range of stressors facing parents experiencing neonatal intensive care in attempts to reduce stress levels and aid integration into the unit.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Canterbury Child Development Research Group, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand; Department of Psychology, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom. Electronic address: vep@aber.ac.uk.Canterbury Child Development Research Group, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25103789

Citation

Pritchard, Verena E., and Argène Montgomery-Hönger. "A Comparison of Parent and Staff Perceptions of Setting-specific and Everyday Stressors Encountered By Parents With Very Preterm Infants Experiencing Neonatal Intensive Care." Early Human Development, vol. 90, no. 10, 2014, pp. 549-55.
Pritchard VE, Montgomery-Hönger A. A comparison of parent and staff perceptions of setting-specific and everyday stressors encountered by parents with very preterm infants experiencing neonatal intensive care. Early Hum Dev. 2014;90(10):549-55.
Pritchard, V. E., & Montgomery-Hönger, A. (2014). A comparison of parent and staff perceptions of setting-specific and everyday stressors encountered by parents with very preterm infants experiencing neonatal intensive care. Early Human Development, 90(10), 549-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2014.07.006
Pritchard VE, Montgomery-Hönger A. A Comparison of Parent and Staff Perceptions of Setting-specific and Everyday Stressors Encountered By Parents With Very Preterm Infants Experiencing Neonatal Intensive Care. Early Hum Dev. 2014;90(10):549-55. PubMed PMID: 25103789.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - A comparison of parent and staff perceptions of setting-specific and everyday stressors encountered by parents with very preterm infants experiencing neonatal intensive care. AU - Pritchard,Verena E, AU - Montgomery-Hönger,Argène, Y1 - 2014/08/07/ PY - 2013/12/11/received PY - 2014/07/03/revised PY - 2014/07/04/accepted PY - 2014/8/9/entrez PY - 2014/8/12/pubmed PY - 2015/6/2/medline KW - External stressors KW - Maternal KW - Nursing staff KW - PSS: NICU KW - Parental stress KW - Paternal KW - Very preterm birth SP - 549 EP - 55 JF - Early human development JO - Early Hum. Dev. VL - 90 IS - 10 N2 - BACKGROUND: Stress responses among parents of premature infants experiencing the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) environment are widely reported. However, less is known about how nurses perceive parents' experiences or how stressors relating to demands on family finances and practical challenges associated with infant hospitalization contribute to parental stress levels in the NICU. OBJECTIVE: 1) To compare parent and staff perceptions of the stressors facing parents experiencing neonatal intensive care; and 2) to develop a scale suitable for identifying stressors outside the NICU setting. METHODS: At infant 34 weeks, parents (n=21) of very preterm infants (≤ 32 weeks GA) and NICU nurses (n=23) completed the Parental Stressor Scale: NICU (PSS: NICU) and a custom-made External Stressor Scale (ESS: NICU). RESULTS: Nurses perceived parents to experience higher stress in the NICU than parents themselves (ps<0.00001), with parents reporting low-to-moderate stress and staff rating parental stress as moderate-to-high. Parents reported slightly lower levels of stress on the ESS: NICU, with nurses again overestimating the level of parental stress (ps<0.00001). Consideration of the extent of nurses' medical experience did not alter results. The ESS: NICU showed good internal reliability, with PCAs revealing all items to load onto a single component. Additional analyses demonstrated divergent validity, with no relation evident with stress responses on the PSS: NICU. CONCLUSIONS: Periodic reassessments of staff and parent perceptions should be encouraged along with research dedicated to a fuller understanding of the range of stressors facing parents experiencing neonatal intensive care in attempts to reduce stress levels and aid integration into the unit. SN - 1872-6232 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25103789/A_comparison_of_parent_and_staff_perceptions_of_setting_specific_and_everyday_stressors_encountered_by_parents_with_very_preterm_infants_experiencing_neonatal_intensive_care_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378-3782(14)00165-0 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -