The Effects of a Neonatal Critical Care Nurse Companionship with Parents during Hospital–Home Transfer of Preterm Infants on Mothers’ Mood Status

Document Type : Original Article


Background: Hospital discharge and transfer of a preterm infant from hospital to home are usually stressful for parents. Objectives: This study evaluated the effects of a neonatal critical care nurse companionship with parents during hospital–home transfer of preterm infants on mothers’ mood status. Methods: This randomized clinical trial was conducted on 64 mothers of preterm infants discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit of a teaching hospital in Isfahan, Iran. Participants were randomly and equally allocated to an intervention and a control group. Each mother in the intervention group was accompanied by a nurse immediately from hospital discharge up to 3 h afterward. The nurse also supported the mother during the first 3–4 postdischarge days. Mothers’ mood status was assessed using the 21‑item Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale both groups 3–4 days before hospital discharge and 72 h after hospital discharge. Data were analyzed through the Chi‑square, the paired‑sample t, and the independent‑sample t‑tests. Results: The pretest mean scores of depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively, were 4.71 ± 4.43, 6.51 ± 4.04, and 9.17 ± 5.40 in the intervention group and 4.91 ± 2.59, 6.59 ± 2.92, and 8.77 ± 3.58 in the control group. The between‑group differences respecting the mean scores of depression, anxiety, and stress were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). These mean scores significantly decreased in the intervention group after the intervention (P < 0.05) while did not significantly change in the control group (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Nurse companionship with parents during the transfer of preterm infants to home improves mothers’ mood status.