A home-monitoring program for parents of premature infants: a comparative study of the psychological effects

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1989 Apr;10(2):92-7.


Controversy characterizes the reported effects of home monitoring on parental well-being. However, past studies were largely retrospective and uncontrolled. The present prospective study compared the psychological effects of a home-monitoring program on 40 parents of first-born premature infants with its effect on 30 parents of similar prematures and 32 parents of normal full-term infants. Home interviews conducted within 2 weeks after discharge were complemented with standardized instruments measuring psychological symptoms, life events, and family satisfaction. All of the parents of monitored infants participated in an educational and support program and did not report increased depression, anxiety, or other psychological symptoms, compared with parents of nonmonitored premature or full-term infants. These monitoring parents reported significantly more support than did other parent groups (p = 0.005). Surprisingly, parents of non-monitored prematures reported higher psychological symptoms than those in either of the other study groups. Results suggest that a professional educational and support program protects the psychological well-being of parents of premature infants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Birth Order
  • Family
  • Home Nursing*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Monitoring, Physiologic*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies