The Effect of the Educational Program on Iranian Premature Infants’ Parental Stress in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial

Document Type: Original article

Authors

1 Community Based Psychiatric Care Research Center, Department of Pediatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Science, Shiraz, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Science, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Pediatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Science, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Pediatrics, Neonatal Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Science, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Background: Hospitalization in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) leads to a lot of stress and shock to the parents. Nurses, as the primary sources of information, could play an important role in reducing their stress. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of educational program on the premature infants’ parental stress in NICU.Methods: This double-blind randomized controlled trial study with a pre-and post-test and follow up design was conducted from February 2013 to March 2014. Sixty parents in Hazrat Zainab hospital affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences were randomly allocated into the intervention (received educational program) and control groups (received routine care). The valid and reliable ”Parental Stressor Scale: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (PSS: NICU)“ was used to measure the parental stress. In the intervention group, information about general condition of the baby, the equipment and unit’s environment, spouse support, and problem solving strategies were given. The data were collected the second day after admission, fifth day after admission, and a week after the intervention. The data were analyzed in SPSS (Version 14), using t-test and repeated measures analysis of variance.Results: In the second day after admission, the mean score of stress in premature infants’ mothers and fathers in the intervention group were 94.79±14.28 and 76.77±16.39, respectively. In the control group, it was 94.48±20.03 and 92.30±21.95 for mothers and fathers. After the intervention in the fifth day of admission, a significant difference was observed between the two groups concerning the premature infants’ maternal (t=-5. 23, P<0.0001) and paternal (t=-6.17, P<0.0001) stress. Moreover, a week after the intervention, the stress mean scores were (in the intervention group: for mothers=59.72±13.55 and for fathers=61.22±18.00), and (in the control group: for mothers=86.75±12.12 and fathers=84.70±18.46). Moreover, a significant difference was shown between the two groups concerning the premature infants’ maternal (F=23.05, P<0.0001) and paternal (F=17.35, P<0.0001) stress mean scores during the three study periods.Conclusion: The results of this study showed that parents’ educational program can reduce their stress and they can spend their energy to support and care for their baby instead of coping with stress.Trial Registration Number: IRCT2013121515810N1

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