Objective: This pilot study evaluated a brief parent journaling program in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Study design: Hundred NICU parents were randomized to a control group (no journal) or an intervention group (journal provided). Parents reported pre- and post-intervention anxiety and depression symptoms using the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) and qualitative journal use data. The analysis included Student's paired two-tailed t-test and two-way ANOVA. This study was registered with clinicaltrials.gov on April 1, 2020, NCT04331925.
Result: At baseline, clinically significant anxiety was more prevalent than depression (66% vs. 23%). Post-intervention scores were best predicted by baseline scores. Relative to controls, intervention group parents experienced a decrease in anxiety from baseline (t = -1.983, p = 0.056). The same effect was not seen for depression. Most intervention group parents used the journal and provided positive feedback.
Conclusion: Journal use rates and positive feedback support the acceptability of a NICU journaling program.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc. part of Springer Nature.