Parents' Experiences Of Caring For Preterm Infants After Discharge From Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Meta-synthesis Of The Literature
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Nursing and Midwifery
The difficulties of caring for preterm infants and associated psychological stress incurred by parents of preterm infants admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) have been well established. However, much less is known about parents' experiences of caring for preterm infant at home after NICU discharge. This study synthesized qualitative studies on this phenomenon. Nine categories were obtained from 12 qualitative studies and grouped into three syntheses - (1) support improves confidence in care; (2) dealing with challenges of caring for preterm infant; (3) overprotective parenting. Parents' experiences of caring for preterm infants post-NICU discharge is constructed as a process that requires support to improve caring confidence, a process that deals with the challenges of caring for preterm infants after discharge and complicated by overprotective parenting. Thus, NICU nurses must endeavour to provide appropriate support for parents in order to increase their caring confidence after discharge.