Mothers are not fathers: Differences between parents in the reduction of stress levels after a parental intervention in a NICU

S. Matricardi, R. Agostino, C. Fedeli, R. Montirosso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims: The study examined the effects of a parental intervention to reduce parents' stress levels during the hospitalization of their very preterm infants in a NICU, taking into account possible differences between mothers and fathers. Methods: Parents of infants born ≤32weeks gestational age (GA) were randomly assigned to a standard support group (N=21) or intervention group (N=21). The intervention was based both on a joint observation method and infant massage provided by both parents. Parents' stress was assessed by the Parental Stressor Scale: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, after the first week of admission and at the infant's discharge. Results: At discharge, intervention group parents showed significantly lower levels of stress related to infants' appearance/behaviour and to parental role alteration (PRA) than those of the standard support group (p=0.000). Overall, mothers reported more stress compared with fathers (p≤0.05). The intervention was effective in reducing the stress-role alteration in mothers (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Parental intervention
  • Parents stress
  • Preterm infants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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