Parents' presence and parent–infant closeness in 11 neonatal intensive care units in six European countries vary between and within the countries

Simo Raiskila, Anna Axelin, Liis Toome, F.F. Caballero, Bente Silnes Tandberg, Rosario Montirosso, Erik Normann, Boubou Hallberg, Björn Westrup, Uwe Ewald, Liisa Lehtonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aim: Little is known about the amount of physical parent–infant closeness in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), and this study explored that issue in six European countries. Methods: The parents of 328 preterm infants were recruited in 11 NICUs in Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Italy and Spain. They filled in daily diaries about how much time they spent in the NICU, in skin-to-skin contact (SSC) and holding their babies in the first two weeks of their hospitalisation. Results: The parents' NICU presence varied from a median of 3.3 (minimum 0.7–maximum 6.7) to 22.3 (18.7–24.0) hours per day (p < 0.001), SSC varied from 0.3 (0–1.4) to 6.6 (2.2–19.5) hours per day (p < 0.001) and holding varied from 0 (0–1.5) to 3.2 (0–7.4) hours per day (p < 0.001). Longer SSC was associated with singleton babies and more highly educated mothers. Holding the baby for longer was associated with gestational age. The most important factor supporting parent–infant closeness was the opportunity to stay overnight in the NICU. Having other children and the distance from home to the hospital had no impact on parent–infant closeness. Conclusion: Parents spent more time in NICUs if they could stay overnight, underlining the importance that these facilities play in establishing parent–infant closeness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)878-888
Number of pages11
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume106
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • Family-centred care
  • Kangaroo care
  • Preterm infants
  • Single-family room parent–infant closeness
  • Skin-to-skin care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Parents' presence and parent–infant closeness in 11 neonatal intensive care units in six European countries vary between and within the countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this