This study tested the effect of an intervention to strengthen parent-professional collaboration
by increasing the accuracy of parents' understanding of medically relevant information and providing parent-professional meetings to plan infants' care.
A tri-ethnic sample of mothers of 154 very-low-birth-weight infants participated, with parents of 77 infants in a control group and parents of 77 infants in an intervention group. Comprehension of infant medical condition and satisfaction with collaboration
in treatment decisions in the 2 groups were measured 3 times during the first 28 days after admission using 9 collaboration
scales. Intervention effects were analyzed with ANOVA and ANCOVA.
Results and Conclusions
Statistically significant change was found in 6 of 9 scales used to measure collaboration
and accuracy of parents' understanding. The intervention group had fewer unrealistic concerns
= .018), and less uncertainty
about infant medical conditions (P
= .003); less decision conflict
≤ .001), more satisfaction with the process
by which medical decisions were made (P
= .012) and with the amount of decision input
they had (P
= .058), and reported more shared decision making
with professionals (P
= .010). There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in satisfaction with infants' care, satisfaction with relationships
with physicians and nurses, and satisfaction with the decisions made
for their infants' treatment. Infant birth weight and gestational age and maternal demographic characteristics were found to influence collaboration
results. The intervention was especially effective in improving understanding and collaboration
in low-income, young, minority mothers.