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Information and Communication Needs of Parents in Infant End-of-Life: A Qualitative Study

Journal title
Iranian Red Crescent medical journal
Publication year
Sadeghi, N.; Hasanpour, M.; Heidarzadeh, M.

BACKGROUND: Hospitalization of a neonate in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be a stressful event for parents. They need specific information and communication to alleviate their stress, but these parental needs are not met by NICU staff. Exploration of these needs can help health professionals to provide better healthcare services. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore the information and communication needs of families in neonatal end-of-life and bereavement in the NICU. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A qualitative content analysis method was used for this study. Data were collected through single semi-structured interviews with 24 participants. Sampling was conducted based on the purposive sampling method in five NICU environments in Iran. All interviews were taped and transcribed verbatim. RESULTS: Data analysis revealed two main themes: information and communication. For information, there were two subthemes (true information about the infant’s health and true information about the infant’s death), and communication needs also developed two subthemes (communication with healthcare professionals and communication with the infant before, during and after the infant’s death). CONCLUSIONS: According to the results, parents need accurate information about the health and the death of their neonates in the NICU. They also need to communicate with healthcare professionals and their babies. Communication is regarded as a channel for obtaining information. Therefore, the healthcare team needs to address these families’ needs and attempt to fulfill their requirements in neonatal end-of-life and bereavement in the NICU.

Research abstracts