Communicating with parents of premature infants: who is the informant?

J Perinatol. 2006 Jan 1;26(1):44-8. doi: 10.1038/


Objectives: To determine what sources of information are most helpful for neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) parents, who provides NICU parents with the information, and also what expectations parents have regarding obtaining information.

Study design: A 19-item questionnaire was given to the parents of infants 32 weeks or younger prior to discharge from the NICU.

Results: Out of the 101 parents who consented, almost all of the parents (96%) felt that 'the medical team gave them the information they needed about their baby' and that the 'neonatologist did a good job of communicating' with them (91%). However, the nurse was chosen as 'the person who spent the most time explaining the baby's condition, 'the best source of information,' and the person who told them 'about important changes in their baby's condition' (P<0.01).

Conclusion: Although the neonatologist's role in parent education is satisfactory, the parents identified the nurses as the primary source of information.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Communication*
  • Comprehension
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neonatal Nursing / methods
  • Neonatal Nursing / standards
  • Neonatology / methods
  • Neonatology / standards
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital
  • Parents / education*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires