How Parents of Premature Infants Gather Information and Obtain Support

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Purpose: To identify the process by which parents of premature infants seek information, the kinds of information they seek, and the resources they use to meet their educational and support needs. Design/Sample: Descriptive study using 19 parent interviews and 64 questionnaires. Main Outcome Variable: The process parents use to obtain information and support. Results: Parents of premature infants make a transition from being passive recipients of information to actively seeking it. They spend 10–20 hours a week gathering information during the first month of the baby's hospitalization. They desire more information than is provided, particularly in the areas of infant health, infant care, and coping. Family is the primary source of support prior to birth and after discharge, but during the infant's convalescence, nurses are the main source of support and help for parents in understanding and adapting to their baby. Many parents would use a computer-based resource for information if it were available to them.

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Neonatal Network, v. 20, issue 2, p. 41-48