Parents' informational needs at the birth of a baby with a surgically correctable anomaly

L. Aite, A. Zaccara, A. Trucchi, A. Nahom, B. Iacobelli, P. Bagolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Previous studies have assessed informational needs of parents of sick fetuses, neonates and children to identify favourable patterns of physician-parent interaction. The aim of this paper was to assess parents' informational needs before and after the operation when the one affected by a surgically correctable anomaly is a newborn. In the period ranging from 1997 to 2000 all couples with newborns undergoing major surgical procedures at birth, at the Newborn Surgery Unit of the Hospital Bambino Gesù, were surveyed by means of a questionnaire. Thirty couples form the object of the study. The two genders did not show significant difference in any of the considered items. All 30/30 mothers (M; 100%) and 29/30 fathers (F; 97%) had never heard about the anomaly before the diagnosis was established in their baby. All parents (100%) stated that it would be better if the surgeon informed them with written educational material. Principal informational needs before operation regard: the description of the anomaly (M = 10; F = 11) and the prognosis in terms of survival chances of the baby (M = 17; F = 15); after surgery the cause of the anomaly (M = 5; F = 3); the steps of the recovery process (M = 10; F = 12) as well as the quality of their baby's life (M = 9; F = 9). In the immediate perioperative period the surgeon should well address parents' informational needs, which may significantly differ from his communication plan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-270
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • Communication
  • Informational needs
  • Major congenital malformation
  • Neonatal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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