Experience of Mothers towards Hospitalization of Preterm Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Units
Introduction: Hospitalization of the preterm infant (PTI) in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a stressful situation for mothers requiring nurses’ care and support for adjustment and coping. Understanding mothers’ experience is valuable for enhancing care and support for them. Therefore, this study was conducted to explore mothers’ experience regarding hospitalization of PTIs in NICUs.
Methods: The qualitative pilot study was conducted among purposively selected 5 mothers of NICU admitted PTIs in a public academic hospital of Bagmati province from May to July 2019. After obtaining ethical approval, in-depth interviews were conducted using interview guideline. The data were analyzed using the content analysis method.
Results: Exploration of mothers’ experience has identified 4 themes: worry and uncertainty regarding the condition and outcome of the PTIs; altered attachment and maternal roles; attachment, and care enabling with care involvement; mixed experience of care, and support.
Conclusion: Hospitalization of PTIs in NICUs was distressing to mothers related to inadequate and altered attachment, and maternal roles. They experienced mother-infant attachment, contentment, and care enabling with involvement in PTI care. They valued nurses’ PTI care and care guidance and expected more guidance, communication, and emotional support. Considering study findings might be worthwhile for enhancing care status in NICUs.