Feature ArticlesPerceptions of Parent Stressors in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Among the General Public and Healthcare ProfessionalsPritchard, Verena E. PhD; Rizkallah, Sarah MPsyc(Clin) Author Information Institute of Learning Sciences and Teacher Education, Australian Catholic University, and School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Dr Pritchard); and Department of Psychology, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Ms Rizkallah). Corresponding Author: Verena E. Pritchard, PhD, School of Psychology and Counselling, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia ([email protected]) Many thanks to the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association, Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union, Australian College of Midwives, and Australian College of Neonatal Nursing for their support of this project. 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: June 25, 2020; accepted for publication: September 10, 2021. The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: April/June 2022 - Volume 36 - Issue 2 - p 186-197 doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000643 Buy Metrics Abstract Objectives: Intervention efforts to improve the psychosocial well-being of parents with an infant in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are high priority. This study assessed public and healthcare professionals' perceptions of prominent NICU stressors to highlight areas where NICU parents are in need of further support. Relations with sample characteristics were also examined to establish the generalizability of known parent demographic/sociofamilial risk factors. Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to assess public (n = 96) and staff (n = 55) responses on the Parental Stressor Scale: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (PSS:NICU). Results: The public perceived parental stress as being low to moderate. This was significantly lower than the staff estimate and highly comparable with past parent reports. Staff communication was perceived as most stressful by the public with this influenced by gender and education. Staff with more NICU experience were more likely to overestimate parental stress, particularly those working at the highest care level. Conclusions: Collectively, these findings highlight preconceived anxiety around staff communication and behaviors and indicate that education on the potential for traumatic unit experiences to influence staff-parent communication may be important. © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.