PURPOSE: To explore the experiences of Mexican-American mothers who have had infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
PARTICIPANTS: A convenience sample of 15 English-speaking, Mexican-American women was interviewed.
DESIGN: The study used an exploratory qualitative approach.
METHODS: Data collection was conducted through audiotaped, transcribed, semistructured, individual interviews and field notes. The 5 normative cultural values for Latino families—(1) simpatia, (2) personalismo, (3) respeto, (4) familismo, and (5) fatalismo—were used as a sensitizing framework to guide data interpretation.
RESULTS: The women's discussions of their NICU experiences clearly reflect the 5 normative Latino cultural values. Positive and negative exemplars of these values are provided as evidence.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings can be used to inform nursing care provided for Mexican-American mothers and their infants by assisting nurses to customize care to meet the cultural needs of this population.