To describe parents' use of nonpharmacologic methods to manage infant procedural pain in the NICU and determine the demographic factors related to such use.Design:
A cross-sectional and descriptive study design.Setting:
Level III and Level II NICUs (seven units) of four University Hospitals in Finland.Participants:
Parents (N = 178) whose infants were treated in Finnish NICUs.Methods:
Parents were asked to respond to a structured questionnaire during their infants' hospitalizations. We analyzed the data using the nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis one-way analysis of variance and Mann–Whitney U test.Results:
Most parents reported that they used physical methods, such as touching, holding, and positioning, nearly always/always (86%, 76%, and 55%, respectively). However, less commonly used strategies included recorded music (2%), breastfeeding (2%), and non-nutritive sucking with oral sucrose (6%). Many characteristics of the infants, such as their gestational ages and their conditions, were significantly related to the implementation of nonpharmacologic methods.Conclusion:
There is a clear need to extend parents' use of nonpharmacologic methods to manage their infants' procedural pain in the NICU. Because many methods were not considered as pain-relieving strategies, it is important to increase knowledge about the effectiveness of these interventions among parents and nurses.