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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 130-133

Maternal stress in neonatal intensive care unit very often overlooked by health professionals

1 Department of Psychiatry, Military Hospital Kirkee, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Military Hospital Kirkee, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Achinta KR Mallick
Department of Pediatrics, Military Hospital Kirkee, Range Hills, Pune - 411 020, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_88_19

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Context: Admission of a neonate in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be very stressful for the mother, which often remains unattended by health-care professionals. Early identification of maternal stress, environmental stressors, and providing remediation will prove instrumental in providing a holistic family-based patient care. Aims: The aim of the study was to analyze the stress levels among mothers whose babies were admitted to NICU. Settings and Design: This was a cross-sectional question-based observational study conducted in the pediatric department of a peripheral hospital in Pune, Maharashtra. Subjects and Methods: This was a cross-sectional, observational, hospital-based study. Maternal stress level was assessed using the Parental Stressor Scale: NICU (PSS: NICU) questionnaire among 73 mothers. Stress score was quantified using Likert scale as low (1–2.9), moderate (3–3.9), and high (4–5), respectively. Statistical Analysis Used: Simple descriptive statistics method with frequency, percentage, mean, and standard deviation was used as applicable. Results: NICU environment is moderate to highly stressful for mothers. The mean score for each domain of PSS: NICU was as follows: sights and sounds, 2.60 (±0.43); looks and behavior, 3.47 (±0.31); and parental role alteration, 3.94 (±0.24), respectively. Maternal stress level remained high irrespective of age at delivery, educational level, occupation, mode of delivery, and number of living children. Conclusions: Mothers of NICU-admitted babies are under significant stress, which needs to be identified early along with care of the sick neonate, so as to give a holistic care to the family.

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