Parental satisfaction in the traditional system of neonatal intensive care unit services in a public sector hospital in North India
Background. Traditional systems of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) care predispose parents to increased levels of stress and anxiety due to parental separation from their infant. Parental satisfaction, an indicator of the quality of care, is significantly compromised during prolonged NICU stay. The research is limited in developing countries.
Objectives. To assess the parental satisfaction with traditional systems of NICU care in a public sector hospital and to identify the areas that need improvement and can be worked upon.
Methods. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to interview the parents of the neonates on the day of discharge. Fifteen questions were categorised into four domains, namely interpersonal relationships with staff, parents’ involvement, staff competence and services offered by the health system. Parental satisfaction level was marked on a three-point Likert scale, 0 corresponding to highly dissatisfied, and 2 to completely satisfied for each of the 15 questions.
Results. Out of 100 patients interviewed, communication was the chief determinant of their satisfaction. Parents expressed fair satisfaction levels with regard to the emotional support and encouragement received, but discontent at being unable to look after their own baby and breastfeed the baby. They were satisfied with the competence of the staff.
Conclusion. The traditional system of NICU care was not satisfying for the parents in many aspects and changes in the form of familycentred care should be tried for greater parental satisfaction.