The Iranian Parents of Premature Infants in NICU Experience Stigma of Shame

Heidari, H. and Hasanpour, M. and Fooladi, M. (2012) The Iranian Parents of Premature Infants in NICU Experience Stigma of Shame. Medical Archives, 66 (1).


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ntroduction: To explore experiences of Iranian parents with a hospitalized premature infant in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and examine socio-cultural factors associated with having a less than perfect infant. Methods: Purposely selected 21 participants in this study were 6 fathers, 7 mothers, 5 nurses and 3 physicians specialized in neonatology. Semi-structured in-depth interviews using inductive approach and content analysis helped obtain and analyze data by open encoding for classification and theme abstraction. Results: Findings revealed that parents of hospitalized NICU infants in Iran experienced: job and income loss; shattered confidence in parental role; challenges to family dynamics; shame as a social stigma; loss of control; overwhelmed with uncertainties; and stress induced physical and emotional problems. Conclusion: Unique and outstanding finding of this study was the social stigma of shame for parents of an NICU infant which directly explained the socio-cultural aspect of Iranian society where families place great importance on having a healthy and strong infant. Having a premature infant with anomalies is viewed as a family flaw. Physicians and nurses must focus more on communication with parents and fulfill an important role to educate, assure and comfort parents. Establishing support system for parents of NICU infants seem urgently needed to improve parentinfant bonding.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Key words: Shame, Social stigma, NICU, Content analysis, Culture.
Subjects: WM Psychiatry
WS Pediatrics
Divisions: Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery
Reserach Vice-Chancellar Department > Social Determinants of Health Research Center
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2017 05:34
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2017 05:34

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