The financial burden experienced by families of preterm infants after NICU discharge

J Perinatol. 2022 Feb;42(2):223-230. doi: 10.1038/s41372-021-01213-4. Epub 2021 Sep 24.


Background and objectives: Describe the financial burden and worry that families of preterm infants experience after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Methods: We surveyed 365 parents of preterm infants in a cross-sectional study regarding socio-demographics, supplemental security income (SSI), and financial worry. We completed a multivariable logistic regression model to examine the adjusted association of financial worry with modifiable factors.

Results: We found that 53% of participants worried about healthcare costs after NICU discharge. After adjusting for socio-demographic and infant characteristics, we identified that, aOR (95% CI), out-of-pocket costs from the NICU index hospitalization, 3.51 (1.7, 7.26) and durable medical equipment use, 2.41 (1.11, 5.23) was associated with increased financial worry while enrollment in SSI, 0.38 (0.19, 0.76) was associated with decreased financial worry.

Conclusions: We identified factors that could contribute to financial burden after NICU discharge that may advise future work to target financial support systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Financial Stress
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Patient Discharge