Effect of Parent Presence During Multidisciplinary Rounds on NICU-Related Parental Stress

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2016 Sep-Oct;45(5):661-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jogn.2016.04.012. Epub 2016 Aug 3.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of parent presence during multidisciplinary rounds on NICU-related parental stress.

Design: Quasi-experimental study.

Setting: University-affiliated, 24-bed NICU located within a children's hospital that admits infants from birth to 6 months of age.

Participants: One hundred thirty-two parents of infants admitted to the NICU for the first time.

Methods: All parents completed the Parent Stressor Scale: NICU (PSS:NICU) on Study Days 0 and 3. In addition to usual family communication practices, parents in the experimental group were offered the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary rounds on their infants.

Results: A total of 132 parents completed the study; the first 46 parents were enrolled in the control group, and the subsequent 86 parents in the experimental group. Overall PSS:NICU scores decreased significantly in the experimental group between Study Days 0 and 3 (mean ± standard error [SE] = -0.24 ± 0.07, p < .001), but the change was not significantly different between the control and experimental groups (mean ± SE = -0.12 ± 0.10, p = .25). The PSS:NICU Parental Role Alteration subscale decreased by the largest margin in the experimental group (mean ± SE = -0.42 ± 0.09, p < .0001), but the change was not significantly different between groups (mean ± SE = -0.26 ± 0.14, p = .06). Overall PSS:NICU stress scores were higher in mothers than fathers (mothers, mean ± SE = 3.4 ± 0.81; fathers, mean ± SE = 2.7 ± 0.67; p < .001).

Conclusion: Providing parents with the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary rounds did not affect NICU-related parental stress. Mothers reported higher levels of stress than fathers.

Keywords: PSS:NICU; fathers; parent role; parent stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Fathers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Parents*
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Teaching Rounds*