Review

Journal of Perinatology (2015) 35, S24–S28. doi:10.1038/jp.2015.146

NICU discharge planning and beyond: recommendations for parent psychosocial support
Open

I B Purdy1, J W Craig2 and P Zeanah3

  1. 1Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  2. 2School of Occupational Therapy, Brenau University, Gainesville, GA, USA
  3. 3Cecil Picard Center for Child Development and College of Nursing and Allied Sciences, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA, USA

Correspondence: Dr IB Purdy, Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, MDCC Room B2-375, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1752, USA. E-mail: ipurdy@mednet.ucla.edu

Received 9 September 2015; Accepted 18 September 2015

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Abstract

Parents will interact with a multitude of teams from various disciplines during their child’s admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. Recognition of the emotional stressors experienced by these parents is a first step in working to provide the crucial support and parenting skills needed for bonding and caring for their infant from admission through discharge and beyond. Family-centered care involves time-sensitive two-way communication between parents and the multidisciplinary team members who coordinate care transition by providing emotional, educational, medical and home visitor support for these families. To do this well, a thoughtful exchange of information between team members and parents is essential to identify psychosocial stress and ameliorate family concerns. Parents will need emotional and educational support and follow-up resources. Establishing individualized, flexible but realistic, pre- and post-discharge plans with parents is needed to start their healthy transition to home and community.