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Education programme supporting parents and families

Authors

Johnston L, van den Hoogen A, Roehr CC, Gözen D, Kühn T, Mannix T, O’Brien K, Panas M, Petty J, Schlembach D, Stoniene D, Tency I, Warren I

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User group

Parents and families, healthcare professionals, neonatal units, hospitals, and health services

Statement of standard

All parents are provided with a training programme to facilitate their development as confident caregivers.

Rationale

The neonatal unit can be a stressful environment for parents and families. This further isolates parents and can affect bonding and impact future parenting. Families may struggle to cope and parents may not feel like a parent, although they want to become involved. To ensure parents are an integral part of the neonatal team (see TEG Infant- & family-centred developmental care), and to become confident caregivers for their infant both in the neonatal unit and after discharge, parents should be offered education, training, and support in specific skills (see TEG Infant- & family-centred developmental care).

The healthcare team understands the unique medical and psychosocial needs of infants and their families, and is ideally placed to teach parents how best to care for their infant. (1)

Benefits

  • Reduced length of hospital stay (2)
  • Reduced parental stress anxiety, and postnatal depression (3,4)
  • Improved parental understanding, self-confidence, and satisfaction (3,4)
  • Improved healthcare professional satisfaction (3,4)
  • Improved parent-infant interaction (4)

 

Components of the standard

Component Grading of evidence Indicator of meeting the standard
For parents and family    
1. Parents and family members are informed about education and training opportunities by healthcare professionals that enable them to confidently care for their infant and to be considered an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. B (High quality) Patient information sheet, training documentation
       
2. Parents and families are active contributors to a family-integrated care curriculum. (5) A (High quality) Training documentation
       
For healthcare professionals    
3. A unit guideline on family-integrated care is adhered to by all healthcare professionals. B (High quality) Guideline
       
4. Training in delivering family-integrated care is attended by all responsible healthcare professionals. (5) B (High quality) Training documentation
       
5. Healthcare professionals contribute to a family-integrated care curriculum. (5) A (High quality) Training documentation
       
For neonatal unit    
6. A unit guideline on family-integrated care is available and regularly updated. B (High quality) Guideline
       
7. Educational materials for parents are easily accessible. (5) A (High quality) Parent feedback
       
For hospital    
8. Formal training in delivering family-integrated care is ensured. (5) B (High quality) Training documentation
       
9. Infrastructure for educational programmes is provided. (see TEG NICU design) B (Moderate quality) Audit report
       
For health service    
10. A national guideline on family-integrated care is available and regularly updated. B (High quality) Guideline
       

Where to go

Further development Grading of evidence
For parents and family  
  • Parents and families are educated individually on an as-needed basis in addition to small group sessions. (5)
A (High quality)
  • Ensure participation by volunteer experienced parents as mentors. (5)
A (High quality)
For healthcare professionals  
N/A  
For neonatal unit  
  • Create an environment that is conducive to learning. (5)
A (High quality)
  • Coordinate the programme by a dedicated parent and families resource nurse. (5)
A (High quality)
  • Provide healthcare professional training to develop teaching skills and ability to manage groups. (4)
A (High quality)
For hospital  
N/A  
For health service  
N/A  
   

Getting started

Initial steps
For parents and family
  • Parents and families are informed about education and training opportunities by healthcare professionals.
For healthcare professionals
  • Attend training in delivering family-integrated care.
For neonatal unit
  • Develop and implement a unit guideline on family-integrated care.
  • Develop information material about education and training opportunities for parents and families to facilitate their development as confident caregivers.
  • Schedule classes for parents and families and a welcoming environment for parents and families.
For hospital
  • Support healthcare professionals to participate in training in delivering family-integrated care.
  • Develop education packages on the value of family-integrated care.
  • Collaborate with parent organisations.
For health service
  • Develop and implement a national guideline on family-integrated care.
 

Sources

  1. Trajkovski S, Schmied V, Vickers MH, Jackson D. Experiences of neonatal nurses and parents working collaboratively to enhance family centred care: The destiny phase of an appreciative inquiry project. Collegian. 2016 Sep 1;23(3):265–73.
  2. Nearing GB, Salas AA, Granado-Villar D, Chandler BD, Soliz A. Psychosocial parental support programs and short-term clinical outcomes in extremely low-birth-weight infants: J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011;25(1):89–93.
  3. Gooding JS, Cooper LG, Blaine AI, Franck LS, Howse JL, Berns SD. Family Support and Family-Centered Care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Origins, Advances, Impact. Semin Perinatol. 2011 Feb;35(1):20–8.
  4. Brett J, Staniszewska S, Newburn M, Jones N, Taylor L. A systematic mapping review of effective interventions for communicating with, supporting and providing information to parents of preterm infants. BMJ Open. 2011 Jun 2;1(1):e000023.
  5. Bracht M, OʼLeary L, Lee SK, OʼBrien K. Implementing family-integrated care in the NICU: a parent education and support program. Adv Neonatal Care Off J Natl Assoc Neonatal Nurses. 2013 Apr;13(2):115–26.

November 2018 / 1st edition / next revision: 2023

Recommended citation

EFCNI, Johnston L, van den Hoogen A et al., European Standards of Care for Newborn Health: Education programme supporting parents and families. 2018.

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