Objective: To explore the parent perspective on discharge home from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Study design: We interviewed parents of NICU graduates with a range of demographic characteristics and medical complexities to explore parent perspectives on readiness for discharge. Interviews were transcribed and coded by a 6-member team. We performed content analysis to identify themes and develop a family-centered conceptual framework around readiness for NICU discharge. Results: We interviewed a total of 15 parents who experienced NICU stays with 18 infants. Parents who have experienced NICU discharge have a spectrum of needs that evolve from the time the child is in the NICU, at time of discharge, and at home afterward. These needs consistently centered around 5 themes—communication, parent role clarity, emotional support, knowledge sources, and financial resources. Conclusions: Parents described many ways the system could have better prepared them and connected them with essential resources. Summarizing the voices of the parents who participated in this study, we have compiled a series of practical recommendations for clinicians to use in daily practice to help parents feel prepared and confident for the transition home from the NICU.
- medically complex pediatric patients
- parent education
- parent empowerment
- qualitative study
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health