Parent’s readiness for their preterm infant discharge from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Introduction: Preparing parents for their infant discharge from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a process that aims to increase confidence for caring their infant, as well as to give knowledge and skills for their readiness and successful transition from NICU to home.

Aim: The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the readiness of parents of preterm infants for discharge from the NICU. Secondary objectives were to investigate the parents’ needs, factors and interventions that affect their readiness for discharge from NICU.

Methodology: A systematic review of the literature was conducted from 2015-2021, in international databases Pubmed, Scopus and Google Scholar. After searching the databases 106 articles emerged and after evaluation 27 articles were included.

Results: The majority of parents felt prepared for discharge from NICU. Factors that affect parents’ readiness for discharging are their socio-economic status, family’s participation in preterm’s care, spatial distribution of NICU, organization and quality of discharge teaching, health literacy, language proficiency, the use of standardized tools for evaluation of their readiness for discharge, nurse’s available time, ineffective staff-parent communication about the daily care of the infant, gestational age and maternal mental health disorders. Parents’ needs are emotional, educational, social, financial and informational. They also desire to stay at NICU around the clock, clear parenting roles, sufficient preparation time and participation in the care of their infant. Interventions, such as regular measurement of parental readiness by evaluating the results of measurements and implementing changes in discharge preparation, educational sessions, personalized programs of preparation, training and simulation of neonatal care, applications for smartphones based on parental needs and charts that estimate discharge dates, could increase parental readiness.

Conclusions: The parents’ readiness for discharge from NICU is influenced by various factors and presupposes the individual evaluation and satisfaction of the parents’ needs by the interdisciplinary team, as well as the implementation of targeted interventions faster and more efficient recovery.

Category: Volume 61, Issue 4
Hits: 381 Hits
Created Date: 08-03-2023
Authors: Koumarianou Filothei , Dousis Evangelos , Evangelou Eleni