Research concludes that there is a need for educational programs for grandmothers, as well as networking opportunities; educational programs for other extended family members have long been sought by parents, relatives, and nurses in neonatal intensive care unit.
The purpose of this study is to describe the effect of having premature infants’ extended families participating in family-centered care (FCC) groups in the neonatal intensive care unit. An intervention based on dialogue, including topics as own reactions, general knowledge about the premature infants, parenthood, and how the extended families can support the new families during hospitalization and after discharge.
The overall theme was: Accepting the individuality of the infant and providing the family with realistic expectations for the future. This theme emerged during the analysis of 4 categories: knowledge sharing, same basis for understanding, access to the immediate family, and competent supporting role. The interrelationship between the categories also emerged, surprisingly, during the analysis.
Extended family members should be recognized as an essential part of the new family’s life from the time of the premature infant’s admission to neonatal intensive care unit. Family-centered care group interventions should be integrated into ward practice and policy.
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