Parents’ experiences of caring for preterm infants after discharge with grandmothers as their main support

Journal article


Adama, Esther Abena, Bayes, Sara and Sundin, Deborah. (2018) Parents’ experiences of caring for preterm infants after discharge with grandmothers as their main support. 27(17-18), pp. 3377-3386. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13868
AuthorsAdama, Esther Abena, Bayes, Sara and Sundin, Deborah
Abstract

Aims and objectives
To explore parents of preterm infants’ experiences of caring for their preterm infants with the grandmother as their primary support after discharge.

Background
Preterm delivery is the major cause of high neonatal mortality in sub‐Saharan Africa. There is poor neonatal health outcome in the Ghanaian community with some illnesses culturally classified as not‐for‐hospital. In the community, grandmothers or older women provide support for new parents and decide treatment options for sick infants. However, there is paucity of research on how parents of preterm infants experience this support in the Ghanaian community.

Method
Qualitative narrative inquiry methodology was used. Face‐to‐face interviews using semi‐structured interview guide were used to collect data from 21 mothers and nine fathers. Participant observation and field notes were used to complement interview data. Thematic content analysis of data within the three‐dimensional narrative space was employed. Analysis focussed on the relationship of time, place, person and cultural practices affecting the care of preterm infants in the community.

Results
Three themes emerged from the data, namely (i) Grandmother's prescriptions, (ii) Fighting for the well‐being of the infant and (iii) Being in a confused state. Cultural practices mainly initiated by grandmothers resulted in adverse health problems for preterm infants and disruption in parents’ mental health.

Conclusion
As grandmothers perform their traditional role of supporting new parents to care for preterm infants after discharge, they give both positive and negative advice which can adversely affect the health of vulnerable preterm infants in the community.

Relevance to clinical practice
Grandmothers are the main support providers of parents of preterm infants after neonatal unit discharge. Nurses should identify and include grandmothers in predischarge education in order to equip them to render appropriate support to parents and preterm infants.

Keywordsculture; discharge; grandmothers; neonatal unit; parents; preterm infants; social support
Year2018
Journal citation27 (17-18), pp. 3377-3386
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd
ISSN0962-1067
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13868
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85052500278
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range3377-3386
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Aug 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted22 Apr 2017
Deposited04 May 2021
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