Objective To explore how the fathers experience their role as a support for their partner and the relationship with them during their preterm infant's stay in the NICU. Study design Multi-method longitudinal study involving ethnographic observation, semi-structured interviews, self-report questionnaires, and clinical information. Twenty fathers of preterm infants hospitalized in a level-III-NICU were included. Data were analyzed using thematic continent analysis. Results Three main themes were identified: support for mother (subthemes: putting mother's and infant's needs first; hiding worries and negative emotions; counteracting the sense of guilt; fear that the mother would reject the child), mother's care for the infant (subthemes: observing mother engaged in caregiving; mother has "something extra"), and couple relationship (subthemes: collaboration; bond). Conclusion Fathers supporting their partners during the stay in the NICU experience emotional distress and the need for being supported that often are hidden. This demands a great deal of emotional and physical energy.

Fathers’ experiences of supporting their partners during their preterm infant’s stay in the neonatal intensive care unit: a multi-method study

Alberto Stefana;Paolo Biban;Ezio Maria Padovani;Manuela Lavelli
2021

Abstract

Objective To explore how the fathers experience their role as a support for their partner and the relationship with them during their preterm infant's stay in the NICU. Study design Multi-method longitudinal study involving ethnographic observation, semi-structured interviews, self-report questionnaires, and clinical information. Twenty fathers of preterm infants hospitalized in a level-III-NICU were included. Data were analyzed using thematic continent analysis. Results Three main themes were identified: support for mother (subthemes: putting mother's and infant's needs first; hiding worries and negative emotions; counteracting the sense of guilt; fear that the mother would reject the child), mother's care for the infant (subthemes: observing mother engaged in caregiving; mother has "something extra"), and couple relationship (subthemes: collaboration; bond). Conclusion Fathers supporting their partners during the stay in the NICU experience emotional distress and the need for being supported that often are hidden. This demands a great deal of emotional and physical energy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1050899
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