The soundscape of neonatal intensive care: a mixed-methods study of the parents' experience

Article


Chifa, M., Hadar, T., Politimou, N., Reynolds, G. and Franco, F. 2021. The soundscape of neonatal intensive care: a mixed-methods study of the parents' experience. Children. 8 (8). https://doi.org/10.3390/children8080644
TypeArticle
TitleThe soundscape of neonatal intensive care: a mixed-methods study of the parents' experience
AuthorsChifa, M., Hadar, T., Politimou, N., Reynolds, G. and Franco, F.
Abstract

Parents who have infants hospitalised in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) experience high levels of stress, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. However, whether sounds contribute to parents’ stress remains largely unknown. Critically, researchers lack a com-prehensive instrument to investigate the relationship between sounds in NICUs and parental stress. To address this gap, this report presents the “Soundscape of NICU Questionnaire” (SON-Q), which was developed specifically to capture parents’ perceptions and beliefs about the impact that sound had on them and their infants, from pre-birth throughout the NICU stay and in the first postdischarge period. Parents of children born preterm (n = 386) completed the SON-Q and the Perinatal PTSD Questionnaire (PPQ). Principal Component Analysis identifying underly-ing dimensions comprising the parental experience of the NICU soundscape was followed by an exploration of the relationships between subscales of the SON-Q and the PPQ. Moderation analy-sis was carried out to further elucidate relationships between variables. Finally, thematic analy-sis was employed to analyse one memory of sounds in NICU open question. The results highlight systematic associations between aspects of the NICU soundscape and parental stress/trauma. The findings underscore the importance of developing specific studies in this area and devising inter-ventions to best support parents’ mental health, which could in turn support infants’ develop-mental outcomes.

Keywordsprematurity; sound in NICUs; premature infant outcomes; parent perinatal stress and PTSD
LanguageEnglish
PublisherMDPI
JournalChildren
ISSN2227-9067
Publication dates
Online27 Jul 2021
PrintAug 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Oct 2021
Accepted23 Jul 2021
Submitted25 May 2021
Output statusPublished
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Copyright Statement

Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Additional information

This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/children8080644
Web of Science identifierWOS:000688810500001
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/89860

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