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Posttraumatic Stress in Mothers While Their Preterm Infants Are in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit: A Mixed Research Synthesis

Beck, Cheryl Tatano DNSc, CNM, FAAN; Woynar, Jennifer BSN, RN

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000176
Original Articles

In this mixed research synthesis on posttraumatic stress in mothers related to their preterm infants' stay in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), we synthesized and integrated a total of 37 studies, 25 of which were quantitative and 12 were qualitative studies. The prevalence rates of NICU mothers with elevated posttraumatic stress symptoms ranged from 18% in the United States to 81% in Turkey. Nine of the 12 studies testing interventions to decrease mothers' stress related to their NICU experiences reported significant results. Content analysis of the qualitative studies' findings revealed 5 themes: stark contrast to images of joyous motherhood, cultural overlay, issues of ownership and control, support, and learning to be a NICU mother.

School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.

Correspondence: Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN, School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, 231 Glenbrook Rd, Storrs, CT 06269 (

The authors would like to thank Dr Thomas Lawrence Long in the University of Connecticut Center for Nursing Scholarship who provided usage and style copyediting for the manuscript's final version.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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