Parents' Perceptions Regarding Readiness for Their Infant's Discharge from the NICU

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Abstract

Purpose:

To identify what parents need to feel ready for the discharge of their infant from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Design:

Qualitative.

Sample:

20 parents of infants admitted to a Canadian Level III NICU were interviewed (2011-2012) and asked to identify what they require to feel ready for discharge. Interview transcripts underwent qualitative content analysis to produce a descriptive summary of parents' perceptions of their needs.

Results:

Parents indicated a need for information and hands-on experience to enhance their readiness for discharge. Observations of their infant and of the NICU environment impacted parents' perceptions of their infant's readiness for discharge, which influenced perceptions of their own readiness for discharge. Finally, parents require tailoring of information and experiences to meet the unique needs of their family.

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