Infant, Low Birth Weight.
Parents -- psychology.
Committee ChairJones, Elaine
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAdvances in neonatal nursing and medical interventions have made it possible for the very low birth weight (VLBW) infant to survive. However, it is now time to recognize the intangible costs, emotional stress, marital stress, grief, pain, sorrow, and the disruption of the role transition to parenthood. To facilitate progress in the area of neonatal nursing, systematic efforts were undertaken to examine and describe parental adaptation to the VLBW infant and potential risk for parenting problems after hospital discharge. The purpose of this study was to describe parents' method of adaptation to the problems of caring for a VLBW infant at home. Specifically this study was designed to identify: (1) What strategies parents employed during the adaptation process. (2) What resources parents combined with their strategies of adaptation. (3) What situations promoted or inhibited parental adaptation. The informants consisted of parents of VLBW infants (<1500 grams) following hospital discharge. The number of subjects for this study was 14. An exploratory design was used to conduct this study. Each subject was involved in three interview sessions, one months, three months, and five months following hospital discharge of their VLBW infant. Data were sampled theoretically, as guided by the emergent theory. The constant comparative method was used for data analysis. A basic social process, Creating Paths, was identified as the core category of the theory. Creating Paths is the continuous process experienced by parents living with a VLBW infant the first five months after hospital discharge. The process consists of three stages: Gathering, Emerging, and Affirming. Results of this investigation provide a beginning theoretical foundation for assessing the adaptation process of parents with VLBW infants the first five months at home. Neonatal nurses can utilize the model to provide anticipatory guidance and support to benefit parents and their VLBW infant.