PURPOSE: This study examined mothers' experiences of the preparation of their infants for discharge in the Iranian neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) culture.
SUBJECTS AND SETTING: Participants included 16 mothers who had preterm infants who were hospitalized in Iranian NICUs.
DESIGN: A qualitative study was used to describe mothers' experiences of infant discharge from the NICU.
METHODS: Data collection was done by interviewing mothers who were in NICUs of Iranian University Hospitals. The qualitative data analysis package was used for coding and categorizing.
RESULTS: Four themes were identified: learning from multiple sources, conditional discharge, enabled mother, and continued nightmares.
CONCLUSION: This study highlighted several issues regarding mothers' experiences of infants' discharge plan. Nurses should be aware of these themes to support the mothers during preparation of their infants for discharge from NICUs.
Nursing and Midwifery School and Medical and Surgical Department (Dr Zamanzadeh), Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (Dr Namnabati), Iran; Nursing and Midwifery School and Department of Child and Family Health (Dr Valizadeh), Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Iran; and School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran (Dr Badiee).
Correspondence: Mahboobeh Namnabati, MSc, PhD, RN, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan Iran (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This study was financially supported by grants from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Iran. The authors are also thankful to research bureau of Isfahan University of Medical Science for the cooperation and support.
The authors thank the mothers who shared their experiences for producing the data. The also wish to thank Dr Vahied Zamanzadeh, PhD, associate professor of nursing and midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Science, who supervised all the process of the research, as well as Dr Leila Valizadeh, assistant professor, Tabriz University, and Dr Zohreh Badiee, associate professor, Isfahan University of Medical Science, who had fruitful consultations with them. The authors extend their best thanks to the Ethics Committee of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences for their cooperation and permission to perform the study in the educational hospital of the university, their final approval, support, and permission to use the files. Mothers in the educational hospitals of Tabriz and Isfahan Universities are truly honored for their friendly participation in the study and holding interviews during which they provided their actual experiences pertinent to their routine activities in the neonatal intensive care unit and for consenting to publish the results of the study in this journal.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.