Doctor-parent communication, neonatal intensive care service satisfaction and parenting stress with acutely ill newborns
Fontana, Charles Anthony
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The impact of parent-physician communication in neonatal illness on parent satisfaction with NICU care and parenting stress at six weeks post hospitalization was assessed with 42 mothers of infants admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Agreement about initial and discharge meetings between mother and physician was assessed in two groups of mothers; one with full term infants with acute respiratory illness (High Risk) and the other with full term infants of diabetic mothers (Low Risk), all of which spent time in an NICU.;Results showed negligible correlations between agreement scores and satisfaction as well as with parenting stress at six weeks post hospitalization. A multiple regression controlling for psychiatric symptoms and negative life events showed agreement at discharge to make a significant contribution to parenting stress whereas higher agreement at infant discharge was associated with less parental adjustment. Medical variables (Apgar or days spent in the NICU) seemed to have more predictive value with satisfaction which had moderate negative correlations with the number of days the infant spent in the NICU. Covariates, such as psychiatric symptoms also were more strongly correlated with Satisfaction indicating factors in the mother which may contribute to the agreement.;It was concluded that agreement between physician and mother at the time of infant discharge may be an important factor in later parental adjustment.