Objective: Family-centered care is becoming a standard of care in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a national program designed to promote family-centered care in NICUs and to provide information and comfort to families during the NICU hospitalization of their newborn.
Study design: A quasi-experimental, post-only design was utilized, examining eight March of Dimes NICU Family Support((R)) (NFS) sites. Data were gathered via telephone interviews with NICU administrators and surveys of both NICU staff and NICU families.
Result: NICU administrators interviewed identified benefits of NFS, including culture change and additional support to families. Surveys of NICU staff showed that NFS enhances the overall quality of NICU care resulting in less stressed, more informed and confident parents. Surveys of NICU families showed that NFS both reduced their stress and made them feel more confident as their baby's parent.
Conclusion: March of Dimes NFS has had a positive impact on the stress level, comfort level and parenting confidence of NICU families. In addition, it has enhanced the receptivity of staff to the presence and benefits of family-centered care.