Depression and loneliness among parents of premature infants admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Postgraduate Thesis uoadl:3232776 106 Read counter

Κατεύθυνση Γενική και Εξειδικευμένη Παιδιατρική: Κλινική Πράξη και Έρευνα
Library of the School of Health Sciences
Deposit date:
Kouri Stavroula
Supervisors info:
Ζαρταλούδη Αφροδίτη, Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια, Τμήμα Νοσηλευτικής, ΠΑΔΑ
Μπριάνα Δέσποινα, Αναπληρώτρια Καθηγήτρια, Ιατρική Σχολή,ΕΚΠΑ
Κουτελέκος Ιωάννης, Επίκουρος Καθηγητής, Τμήμα Νοσηλευτικής, ΠΑΔΑ
Original Title:
Κατάθλιψη και αίσθημα μοναξιάς των γονέων πρόωρων νεογνών που νοσηλεύονται στη Μονάδα Εντατικής Νοσηλείας (ΜΕΝΝ)
Translated title:
Depression and loneliness among parents of premature infants admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
INTRODUCTION: When a newborn is born prematurely, it is often the immediate separation from both parents, who are confronted with a reality for which they were not prepared, as a result of which they experience a strong emotional burden throughout the baby's hospitalization. Their entrance into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can trigger negative emotions in both parents.
AIM: To assess the feeling of loneliness, depressive symptoms and post-traumatic stress of parents with premature infants who are hospitalized in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) as well as the relationship between them.
METHODOLOGY: This is a modern, quantitative study and its sample consisted of 251 parents, whose newborn was born prematurely and was hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of three hospitals in Attica. The data were collected with a specially designed questionnaire, for the purposes of the study. The questionnaire included (a) questions for the collection of socio-demographic data on parents and the newborn, (b) the Center for Epidemiological Studies-depression scale, (c) the UCLA Loneliness Scale (d) ) the Impact of Event Scale- Revised- Greek version (IES-R-Gr) for the detection of post-traumatic stress.
RESULTS: Of our total sample of parents with a mean age of 32.2 years (SD = 15.4 years) 69.7% were women. Mothers experienced significantly higher scores on all scales under study, suggesting more symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress as well as a higher sense of loneliness compared to fathers. Parents whose infants were underweight and parents with previous experience of hospitalization in NICU exhibited a statistically significant higher sense of loneliness. 62.6% of parents developed depressive symptoms. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between feeling lonely and the onset of depressive symptoms and a statistically significant negative correlation between psychological support from hospital staff and the appearance of depressive symptomatology. The 60.1% of our participants showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The more depressive symptoms the participants exhibited, the more symptoms of avoidance, resuscitation, and overstimulation occurred. The greater the feeling of loneliness, the more symptoms of avoidance the participants exhibited.
CONCLUSIONS: Early detection of depressive symptoms, loneliness and post-traumatic stress in parents whose newborn is hospitalized in NICU is of major importance. Consequently, a systematic and well-organized training of the staff working in NICU should be provided, and specific protocols, as well as individualized interventions should be implemented to manage the needs and feelings of this vulnerable population.
Main subject category:
Health Sciences
Parents, Premature infants, Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Depression, Loneliness, Post-traumatic stress
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