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Stress in Fathers of Surgical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Babies

Joseph, Rachel A. MSN, CCRN, MA1; Mackley, Amy B. MSN, RNC3; Davis, Colleen G. MSN, RNC1; Spear, Michael L. MD2; Locke, Robert G. DO2

Section Editor(s): Catlin, Anita DNSc, FNP, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/01.ANC.0000304973.77202.1b
Ethical Issues in Newborn Care

The purpose of this study was to identify and measure components of perceived stress in fathers of infants in a surgical neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The Parent Stressor Scale: Infant Hospitalization (PSS:IH) was used to assess perceived stress in 22 fathers. Paternal stress was highest in the domains of “Parental Role Alteration” and “Infant Appearance and Behavior.” “Sights and Sounds” did not appear to be associated with self-reported stress. This study demonstrates elevated levels of perceived stress among fathers of surgical NICU babies. Attention to fathers may be assisted by findings.

1Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware; 2Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and NICU at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and Neonatologist Christiana Care Health Systems, Wilmington, Delaware; 3Christiana Care Health Systems, Wilmington, Delaware.

Address correspondence to Rachel A. Joseph, MSN, CCRN, MA, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, 1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803;

© 2007 National Association of Neonatal Nurses