Infants born extremely premature (<1500 g) often experience lengthy stays in the challenging environment of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) separated from their parents.
The purpose of this study was to explore nurses' knowledge, attitude, and use of maternal voice as a therapeutic intervention for preterm infants in the NICU.
Neonatal nurses (n = 117) completed an online survey about the use of maternal voice in their individual units. Questions included: (1) previous knowledge surrounding use of maternal voice in the NICU; (2) their attitudes about using maternal voice recordings and/or live maternal speech as an intervention; (3) whether their unit had the necessary equipment and environment conducive to using the therapy; (4) average amount of time parents were in the NICU with their neonate; and (5) in what situations they would personally encourage the use of maternal recordings (during procedures, rounds, etc).
Of those responding, 73.3% of nurse (n = 117) respondents agreed they were willing to incorporate maternal recordings into caregiving, with 80.8% indicating they were open to learning and employing different therapies to improve parental involvement in infant care.
Implications for Practice:
When the appropriate equipment is available, neonatal nurses are interested and willing to use alternative therapies that incorporate parental participation into direct caregiving as well as utilizing maternal voice recordings.
Implications for Research:
Further research with larger, more diverse samples is needed to determine the current knowledge, attitudes, and practices of maternal voice recordings by NICU nurses. Future research can also focus on barriers to utilization of the therapy during daily care.