Comparison of Nurses and Parents' Viewpoints Regarding the Needs of Parents of Premature Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Marziyeh Tork Ladani, Zahra Abdeyazdan, Alireza Sadeghnia, Mahnoosh Hajiheidari, Akbar Hasanzadeh


Background: The birth of a premature infant and her/his hospitalization can cause the parents to experience a variety of needs. Understanding the needs of parents by nurses can lead to provision of high quality care to premature infants. This study aimed to compare the parents’ and nurses’ viewpoints regarding parents’ needs in the neonatal intensive care units (NICU).

Materials and Methods: In this descriptive cross‑sectional study, 63 nurses, 120 mothers, and 120 fathers, who met the inclusion criteria, participated. Nurses were selected through a census method and parents through a simple convenience sampling method. Data were gathered using a researcher‑made questionnaire and were analyzed using descriptive‑analytic statistical methods in the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software version 16.

 Results: From the viewpoint of mothers, the need for assurance with a mean score of 87.4 was the most important and the need for support with a mean score of 71.37 was the least important need. From the perspective of fathers, the need for assurance with a mean score of 78.5 was the most important and the need for support with a mean score of 51.20 was the least important need. From the viewpoint of the nurses, the need for assurance with a mean score of 77.6 was the most important and the need for support with a mean score of 59.77 was the least important need. The mean scores of the needs of mothers in all subscales were higher than that of the fathers' and nurses' (P < 0.001).

 Conclusions: From the viewpoint of nurses, the scores of parents’ needs were significantly less than that of the parents' for all subscales. It is suggested that appropriate education programs be provided for nurses regarding how they can understand parents’ needs to provide high quality care.


Iran; needs; neonatal intensive care units; nurses, parents; premature infants; viewpoint

Full Text:



Beck S, Wojdy D, Say L, Betran A, Merialdi M, Harris J, et al. The worldwide incidence of preterm birth: A systematic review of maternal mortality and morbidity. Bull World Health Organ 2010;88:31‑8.

Abdeyazdan Z, Ghassemi S, Marrofi M. The effects of earmuff on physiologic and motor responses in premature infants admitted in nicu. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res 2014;19:107‑12.

Obeidat HM, Bond EA, Callister LC. The Parental Experience of Having an Infant in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. J Perinat Educ 2009;18:23‑9.

Heidari H, Hasanpour M, Fooladi M. The experiences of parents with infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res 2014;3:208‑13.

Sargent AN. Predictors of needs in mothers with infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. J Reprod Infant Psychol 2009;27:195‑205.

Novak JC. Facilitating nurturing fathering behaviour in the NICU. Neonatal Netw 1990;12:68‑77.

Maxwell KE, Stuenkel D, Saylor C. Needs of family members of critically ill patients: A comparison of nurse and family perceptions. Heart Lung 2007;36:367‑76.

Ghadery‑Sefat A, Abdeyazdan Z, Badiee Z, Zargham-Boroujeni A. Relationship between parent–infant attachment and parental satisfaction with supportive nursing care. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res 2016;21:71‑6.

Ward K. Perceived needs of parents of critically ill infants in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Pediatr Nurs 2001;27:281‑6.

Vaskelyte A, Butkeviciene R. Needs of parents with premature newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Parents’ and nurses’ perceptions. Medicina 2010;46:43‑53.

Johnson AN. Engaging fathers in the NICU: Taking down the barriers to the baby. J Pediatr Nurs 2008;22:302‑6.

Mundy CA. Assessment of family needs in neonatal intensive care units. Am J Crit Care 2010;19:156‑63.

Punthmatharith B, Buddharat U, Kamlangdee T. Comparisons of needs, need responses, and need response satisfaction of mothers of infants in neonatal intensive care units. J Pediatr Nurs


Latour JM, Hazelzet JA, Duivenvoorden HJ, Goudoever JB. Perceptions of parents, nurses, and physicians on neonatal intensive care practices. J Pediatr 2010;157:215‑20.

Reis MD, Rempel GR, Scott SD. Developing Nurse/Parent Relationships in the NICU. JOGNN 2013;13:675‑83.

Vaskelyte A, Butkeviciene R, Klemmac D. Assessing needs of families with Premature newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Medicina 2009;45:320‑6.

Shellabarger SG, Thompson TL. The critical times: Meeting parental communication needs throughout the NICU experience. Neonatal Netw 1993;12:39‑45.

Goldstein LA. Family support and education. J Pediatr 2013;33:139‑61.

Kavanaugh K, Moro TT, Savage T, Reyes M, Wydra M. Supporting Parents’ Decision Making Surrounding the Anticipated Birth of Extremely Premature Infant. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs 2009;23:159‑170.

Wigert H, Dellenmark MB, Bry K. Strengths and weaknesses of parent communication in the NICU: A survey assessment. BMC Pediatr 2013;7:13‑71


  • There are currently no refbacks.