Transition to parenthood in the neonatal care unit: a qualitative study and conceptual model designed to illuminate parent and professional views of the impact of webcam technology

Complications during pregnancy, childbirth and/or the postnatal period may result in the admission of a baby to a neonatal unit (NNU). While the survival and long-term prospects of high-risk infants are enhanced by admission, the enforced separation of the parent and child may have psychological consequences for both. There is a need to develop and evaluate interventions to help parents ‘feel closer’ to their infants in circumstances where they are physically separated from them. This paper presents findings from an in-depth, theoretically-driven, evaluation of a technological innovation designed to address this need. The study sought to explore parent and professional views of the impact of the technology, which transmits real-time images of the baby via a webcam from the NNU to the mother’s bedside in the post-natal care environment.

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