Documenting the NICU Design Dilemma: Parent and Staff Perceptions of Open Ward Versus Single Family Room Units
Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
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 of Perinatology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)