Effects of parent-provider communication during infant hospitalization in the NICU on parents: A systematic review with meta-synthesis and narrative synthesis

Nanon H. M. Labrie*, Nicole R. van Veenendaal, Ramona A. Ludolph, Johannes C. F. Ket, Sophie R. D. van der Schoor, Anne A. M. W. van Kempen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To synthesize and analyse the literature on the effects of parent-provider communication during infant hospitalization in the neonatal (intensive) care unit (NICU) on parent-related outcomes. Methods: Systematic review with meta-synthesis and narrative synthesis. Databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus) were searched in October/November 2019. Studies reporting, observing, or measuring parent-related effects of parent-provider communication in the NICU were included. Study quality was assessed using the Quality Assessment Tool for Studies with Diverse Designs. Qualitative studies were meta-synthesized using deductive and inductive thematic analysis. Quantitative studies were analysed using narrative synthesis. Results: 5586 records were identified; 77 were included, reporting on N = 6960 parents, N = 693 providers, and N = 300 NICUs. Analyses revealed five main (positive and negative) effects of parent-provider interaction on parents’ (1) coping, (2) knowledge, (3) participation, (4) parenting, and (5) satisfaction. Communication interventions appeared impactful, particularly in reducing parental stress and anxiety. Findings confirm and refine the NICU Communication Framework. Conclusions: Parent-provider communication is a crucial determinant for parental well-being and satisfaction with care, during and following infant hospitalization in the NICU. R. Practice Implications: Providers should particularly consider the impact on parents of their day-to-day interaction – the most occurring form of communication of all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1526-1552
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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