Parent-Targeted Education Regarding Infant Pain Management Delivered During the Perinatal Period: A Scoping Review

J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2020 Jan/Mar;34(1):56-65. doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000439.


All infants experience pain in early life from procedures. Parents recognize pain as a prevalent issue, reporting a strong desire for more information on infant pain. The aim of this study was to explore and map the current evidence of parent-targeted educational interventions about infant pain, delivered throughout the perinatal period. Records were identified in PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and ERIC databases and hand searching recent publications in 3 relevant journals. Records in English that described or evaluated educational interventions on infant pain management aimed at parents during the perinatal period were eligible for review and those not related to pain or aimed at healthcare providers were excluded. Evaluation was completed following the Methodology for JBI Scoping Reviews and standardized critical appraisal instruments from the Joanna Briggs Institute. Initial search yielded 6946 records, with 9 included in analysis. Six studies were quantitative, 2 qualitative, and 1 mixed methods. Included interventions contained information about parent-led pain management strategies for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (n = 4), full term (n = 4), or both (n = 1). Despite being an area of high concern for parents of newborns, few studies addressed parent-targeted education regarding infant pain. Future research examining the impact and efficacy of these interventions addressing parental and neonatal outcomes is warranted.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant Care* / methods
  • Infant Care* / psychology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain* / etiology
  • Pain* / psychology
  • Parents* / education
  • Parents* / psychology
  • Prenatal Education / methods*