Perceptions of Parents, Nurses, and Physicians on Neonatal Intensive Care Practices

J Pediatr. 2010 Aug;157(2):215-220.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.02.009. Epub 2010 Mar 31.


Objective: To identify satisfaction with neonatal intensive care as viewed by parents and healthcare professionals and to explore similarities and differences between parents and healthcare professionals.

Study design: A 3-round Delphi method to identify neonatal care issues (round 1) and to determine the importance of these issues (rounds 2 and 3) was conducted among nurses (n = 84) and physicians (n = 14), followed by an exploratory survey among parents (n = 259). Main outcome measures were 92 neonatal care-related items.

Results: Sixty-eight nurses and 13 physicians completed all 3 rounds. The first round yielded 419 neonatal care related statements, which were clustered into 92 items. The survey was completed by 148 (57%) parents. Parents rated 25 of 92 care items significantly higher than did the professionals (effect size of Cohen's d, 0.31 to 1.14, P <or= .02). Two items related to medication administration had the largest effect size. Professionals rated 7 items significantly higher than did parents (Cohen's d, -0.31 to -0.58, P <or= .04). One of these was assigning a physician and a nurse to the parents. Three were related to multicultural care.

Conclusions: This study revealed disparities between parents and neonatal intensive care unit staff on a number of care issues reflecting incongruity in recognizing parents' desires.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / organization & administration*
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses*
  • Parents*
  • Perception
  • Physicians*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workforce