Smartphone and Internet Preferences of Parents: Information Needs and Desired Involvement in Infant Care and Pain Management in the NICU
Despite an abundance of research that identifies the benefits for both parent and child when parents are actively involved in their infant's care, challenges related to the best methods to engage families persist.Purpose:
To conduct a feasibility study that aims to understand the preferences of smartphone and Internet use by parents of infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) related to information seeking and active participation in infant care, with a focus on pain management interventions.Methods:
A paper-based survey was distributed to 90 parents in a tertiary-level NICU from September to November 2013.Results:
Response rate was 80% (72 of the 90). Ninety-seven percent accessed the Internet daily, 87% using their smartphone, and ranked it as an important source of NICU information (81%), more than books (56%) and brochures (33%). Participants reported a desire to have more information on how they could provide general comfort (96%), as well as greater participation in comforting their baby during painful procedures (94%).Implications for Practice:
Parents in the NICU want more information and greater involvement in their infant's care and pain management and place a higher value on the Internet compared with traditional resources.Implications for Research:
Researchers and clinicians should work together to determine the quality of online resources to better support and evaluate parent use of the Internet as a health information resource. Future studies should examine parental preference regarding the optimal balance between online sources and face-to-face interactions.