Identification of internal and external stressors in parents of newborns in intensive care

Perm J. 2013 Summer;17(3):36-41. doi: 10.7812/TPP/12-105.


The purpose of this study was to identify parents' self-reported stressors as they experience their baby's course in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Miles, Funk & Carlson (1993) Parental Stressor Scale: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was used to survey 119 parents of neonatal infants, born at 24 weeks to full term, in the 28-bed level 3 NICU of a mid-Atlantic, Magnet-designated acute care hospital with 665 licensed beds. The newly developed Grosik, Snyder, Cleary and Tidwell NICU External Stressors and Stress Reduction Scale (2006), a 5-point Likert scale, was also used. Intrapersonal and interpersonal stressors were categorized as internal (occurring within the NICU) and extrapersonal (occurring outside the NICU) as external stressors. The findings were used to develop a new practice in the NICU to help reduce parental stressors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Critical Care / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Male
  • Mid-Atlantic Region
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Self Report
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult