Exploring Parent Experiences With Early Palliative Care Practices in the NICU

Title

Exploring Parent Experiences With Early Palliative Care Practices in the NICU

Creator

Quinn M; Gephart S; Crist J

Publisher

Advances in Neonatal Care

Date

2024

Subject

Palliative Care; NICU; parent experiences

Description

BACKGROUND: The anxiety and uncertain outcome of an admission of a seriously ill infant to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can cause great stress for parents and contribute to poor mental health outcomes. Early implementation of family-centered palliative care (PC) may provide support for NICU parents. Key concepts of early PC in the NICU include shared decision-making, care planning, and support for coping with distress. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore parent experiences during their child's NICU admission with the early PC practices of shared decision-making, care planning, and coping with distress. METHODS: Qualitative descriptive methodology was used. Strategies of reflexive journaling, peer debriefing, and data audits were used to enhance trustworthiness. Parents (N = 16) were interviewed, and data were analyzed by conventional content analysis. Targeted recruitment of fathers occurred to ensure they comprised 25% of sample. RESULTS: Parents' descriptions of decision-making were contextualized in gathering information to make a decision, the emotional impact of the decision, and influences on their decision-making. In experiences with care planning, parents described learning to advocate, having a spectator versus participant role, and experiencing care planning as communication. Key themes expressed regarding parental coping were exposure to trauma, survival mode, and a changing support network. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE AND RESEARCH: These findings highlight key areas for practice improvement: providing more support and collaboration in decision-making, true engagement of parents in care planning, and encouraging peer support and interaction in the NICU and in online communities.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

April List 2024

Collection

Citation

Quinn M; Gephart S; Crist J, “Exploring Parent Experiences With Early Palliative Care Practices in the NICU,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 23, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/19556.