Aim: To compare individual room implemented family-centred care to classical designed neonatal intensive care unit and find out its effect on rehospitalization and application to health services in preterm infants after discharge.
Methods: Mothers whose infants were born before 34 gestational weeks and hospitalized for at least one week in the NICU were enrolled in the study. Mothers who were hospitalized with their preterm infants in individual rooms (Group I) were compared with mothers who were not hospitalized with their preterm infants (Group II). After the third postdischarge month, groups were compared for their rates of phone consultations to physician/hospital, acute care applications, rehospitalization and parent's perception of child's vulnerability.
Results: Although demographic and medical information did not indicate any differences between the groups, the mean number of acute care visits (p = 0.046), the median number of phone consultations (p = 0.001) and rehospitalization rate (12.9% vs. 34.5%, p < 0.05) were significantly higher in Group II. The anatomical problems, such as inguinal hernia and retinopathy of prematurity, were the main recorded causes in Group I whereas problems related to prematurity like feeding difficulties were dominating in Group II.
Conclusion: The availability of individual rooms that allows maternal presence and participation during the hospitalization of the mother's preterm infant, is correlated with lower rates of rehospitalization and healthcare applications.