The objective of this study is to assess the impact on maternal anxiety of a short-term intervention in a particularly stressful situation, such as a surgical anomaly diagnosed only at birth after repeated negative prenatal ultrasounds. The patients were 30 mothers of babies requiring surgical correction of a congenital anomaly who were randomly assigned to an intervention (N = 16) or control (N = 14) group. The intervention group received standard care plus short-term intervention that included weekly meetings with the psychologist and weekly team meetings. The control group received only standard care available on the Neonatal Surgery Unit. The main outcome measure was maternal anxiety levels, assessed at birth and on discharge with the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S). Statistical comparisons were made, and no significant differences were found at birth in the STAI-S scores of the two groups. At discharge, the intervention group exhibited a much lower STAI-S score than the group without short-term intervention. The authors concluded that psychological counseling for parents of newborn babies has been shown to be helpful. However, the impact of such assistance was shown to be particularly beneficial for parents facing the emotional stress of their children requiring unexpected surgical corrections of congenital anomalies at birth. Therefore, the presence of a psychologist, as part of the standard care of newborns requiring surgical correction, is recommended.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology