Existential questions and needs in neonatal intensive care
When a newborn baby is cared for in neonatal intensive care, it is a life-changing event for the parents. Existential questions are raised and the attitude of the staff towards the parents' questions and needs are important for the parents experience of this time. The staff is confronted with questions like "What is the meaning of this", and professions such as physicians and nurses, counselors, psychologists and priests in the neonatal intensive care are expected to give parents existential support.
Studies show that the existential questions and needs are rarely paid attention to in today's medical care despite the fact that research shows that these are important in the care and often affect the carer's ethical and moral attitude in the relationship with the patient and relatives.
To highlight treatment of existential questions and needs in the neonatal intensive care.
Study 1: This study focuses on personnel experience in meeting parents' existential issues and needs in the neonatal intensive care.
Study 2: This study focuses on parents' experience of staff's meeting of existential needs and questions when their children are cared for in the neonatal intensive care.
Study 1: Thirty-two interviews with physicians, nurses, counselors, psychologists and priests in four neonatal intensive care units of four hospitals in Sweden were carried out. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative approach and scriptwriting in progress.
Study 2: Sixteen interviews with parents whose children have been cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit in Sweden was carried out. Analysis is ongoing.
The study results are expected to increase the knowledge of spiritual support in the neonatal intensive care by highlighting the opportunities and obstacles for spiritual support, and thus develop the quality of care in neonatal intensive care. The study results can start a discussion on spiritual support in neonatal intensive care, and development of strategies and models of spiritual support in neonatal units can be facilitated. The result can also be a basis for reflection groups and designing treatment strategies that lead to a treatment that includes the entire family, both children and parents, and where parents’ existential questions / needs are identified and prioritized.