Parental involvement in decision-making in the neonatal intensive care unit : a review of the international evidence

Fairhurst, N and Long, T ORCID: 2020, 'Parental involvement in decision-making in the neonatal intensive care unit : a review of the international evidence' , Paediatrics and Child Health, 30 (4) , pp. 119-123.

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The aim of this review was to establish the current evidence base regarding parental involvement in decision-making in the NICU. The review question was set as ‘What is known about the process of parental participation in clinical decision-making in the NICU?’ The findings of this critical literature review illustrate the process of decision-making for parents in NICU. The available evidence base was minimal. The parental role in decision-making is variable with current literature suggesting that the informed parental role, allowing parents to make the ultimate decision, is increasingly desired. Despite this there is still a requirement for medical and shared decision-making for some families. Regardless of the role parents assume it is evident that there will always be an array of emotional complexities to follow. Most feelings and emotional responses reported by parents were negative. The literature suggests several reasons for these feelings. A lack of parental knowledge and experience in NICU leading to confusion as to whether the right decision has been made alongside parents having a heightened awareness of the potential for suffering and harm for their baby. There are the added pressures of time and the weight of responsibility. The burden appears to be unequally distributed between parents. Several studies illustrate the transfer of responsibility from the father to mothers.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Paediatrics and Child Health
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1751-7222
Related URLs:
Funders: University of Salford [Pathways to Excellence doctoral award]
Depositing User: Professor Tony Long
Date Deposited: 11 May 2020 07:17
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 14:48

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