Feature ArticlesThe Experiences of Parents in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit An Integrative Review of Qualitative Studies Within the Transactional Model of Stress and CopingLoewenstein, Kristy PhD, RN-BC, PMHNP-BC; Barroso, Julie PhD, RN, ANP, FAAN; Phillips, Shannon PhD, RN Author Information Medical University of South Carolina, College of Nursing, Charleston (Drs Loewenstein, Barroso, and Phillips); Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Dr Loewenstein); and Patient Care Services, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, New York (Dr Loewenstein). Corresponding Author: Kristy Loewenstein, PhD, RN-BC, PMHNP-BC, Patient Care Services, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Northwell Health, 75-59 263rd St, Glen Oaks, NY 11004 ([email protected]). The authors thank MUSC Center for Academic Excellence and Writing Center, specifically William Dinolfo, PhD, for multiple reviews of the manuscript and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars for support.Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (www.jpnnjournal.com).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: November 6, 2018; accepted for publication May 21, 2019. The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: October/December 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 340-349 doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000436 Buy SDC Metrics Abstract Having a child hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a deviation from the norms expected for pregnancy and childbirth. A NICU admission may be traumatic for some parents, causing psychological distress and altered parenting roles. The aim of this integrative review is to examine the experiences and perceptions of a NICU hospitalization from the perspective of both parents to inform clinical practice and future research. A systematic search of 3 databases was conducted and included studies were evaluated by the Critical Skills Appraisal Programme checklist for qualitative studies. The Whittemore and Knafl integrative review methodology and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis methodology were followed to provide a structure for searching and reporting findings. There were 248 participants (153 mothers and 95 fathers) from 9 countries and of varying socioeconomic backgrounds in the 16 primary qualitative studies included in this review. The resulting major themes included panic sequence, emotional upheaval, social support, faith, and adjusting. Interventions directed at managing parents' emotions, supporting their spiritual needs, facilitating parenting skills and infant attachment, and adapting the environment to parents' needs can help improve the NICU experience. © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.