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Effectiveness of the Neonatal Discharge Program for Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants on Parental Efficacy and Psychological Distress

Shandra Bos, Lakshmi, BSc(Hons); Shorey, Shefaly, PhD, RN, RM; Kulantaipian, Tamill Salvee, BSc Nursing, RN; Sng, Jane S. P., BSc Nursing, RN; Tam, Wilson W. S., PhD; Koh, Serena S. L., PhD, RN, RM

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: October/December 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 4 - p E11–E21
doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000337
Feature Articles

This pilot study aimed to (i) evaluate the effectiveness of a neonatal discharge program, (ii) identify relationships between parent and infant factors and parental efficacy and psychological distress, and (iii) identify ways to improve the neonatal discharge program. A quasiexperimental 1-group pretest/posttest design was used. Through consecutive sampling, 42 participants were recruited. Data were collected using self-report questionnaires. Self-administering instruments gathered data on parental efficacy and psychological distress as well as feedback and recommendations on the intervention. A significant increase in parental efficacy and a reduction in psychological distress were observed from pre- to postdischarge intervention. Significant relationships were found between parental efficacy and infants' gestational age, birth weight, gender, and participants' level of education, and a significant relationship was found between psychological distress and number of children from previous pregnancies. Moreover, an Internet-based program, in addition to the face-to-face teaching, was identified as a preferred option to aid in information retention. It is important to evaluate and enhance the neonatal discharge program to suit the parents of today while providing them with informational and emotional support. Future studies should explore parental coping and the long-term effects of their infant's birth and the intervention.

Special Care Nursery (Mss Shandra Bos and Kulantaipian) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Ms Sng), KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore; Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore (Drs Shorey, Tam, and Koh); and National University Health System, Singapore (Dr Shorey).

Corresponding Author: Shefaly Shorey, PhD, RN, RM, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Level 2, Clinical Research Centre, Block MD11, 10 Medical Dr, Singapore 117597 (

We thank the participating hospital and the parents who shared their invaluable experiences with us. We appreciate the Medical Publications Support Unit of the National University Health System, Singapore, for assistance in language editing of this article.

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

Each author has indicated that he or she has met the journal's requirements for Authorship.

Submitted for publication: September 12, 2017; accepted for publication: October 22, 2017.

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