In this article we report on a study exploring personal narratives of mothers of former preterm infants and the attributed meaning related to that experience over time. Using narrative inquiry as the research method, in-depth, unstructured interviews were conducted with 6 preterm mothers. Findings reveal that a preterm mother's experience is informed by contextual, intrapersonal, and interpersonal dynamics, some predating the birth often with effects that continue for years beyond it. By learning a preterm mother's unique experience and its attributed meaning, nurses can better understand the resulting effect on maternal/family health and well-being and tailor nursing interventions accordingly.
York College of Pennsylvania, York (Dr Adkins); and The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey (Dr Doheny).
Correspondence: Cherie S. Adkins, PhD, RN, The Stabler Department of Nursing, York College of Pennsylvania, 441 Country Club Rd, York, PA 17403 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dr Adkins thanks Dr Patricia A. Cranton for her expertise in narrative inquiry and transformative learning theory.
Dr Adkins received a grant for this study from Sigma Theta Tau International, Beta Sigma Chapter. Dr Doheny received grants from Children's Miracle Network and Johnson and Johnson Health Behaviors and Quality of Life research grants (for the overarching study). Dr Doheny currently receives salary support for research by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1R01DK099350 (not used to fund this study).
The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or the publication of this article.