Title

Documenting the NICU Design Dilemma: Parent and Staff Perceptions of Open Ward Versus Single Family Room Units

Department

Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2010

Abstract

Objective: With neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) evolving from multipatient wards toward family-friendly, single-family room units, the study objective was to compare satisfaction levels of families and health-care staff across these differing NICU facility designs.

Study Design: This prospective study documented, by means of institutional review board-approved questionnaire survey protocols, the perceptions of parents and staff from two contrasting NICU environments.

Result: Findings showed that demographic subgroups of parents and staff perceived the advantages and disadvantages of the two facility designs differently. Staff perceptions varied with previous experience, acclimation time and employment position, whereas parental perceptions revealed a naiveté bias through surveys of transitional parents with experience in both NICU facilities.

Conclusion: Use of transitional parent surveys showed a subject naiveté bias inherent in perceptions of inexperienced parents. Grouping all survey participants demographically provided more informative interpretations of data, and revealed staff perceptions to vary with position, previous training and hospital experience.

Journal

Journal of Perinatology

Journal ISSN

0743-8346

Volume

30

Issue

5

First Page

343

Last Page

351

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1038/jp.2009.195