A Systematic Review of Psychospiritual Interventions in the NICU

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Background: The presence of psychospiritual supports and interventions for neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) parents is unclear. Purpose: This systematic review examines the psychological and medical literature for psychospiritual interventions designed to support parents’ mental health and psychological well-being during or after the NICU experience. Data Sources: Data sources include PubMed, PsycINFO, and Cochrane Library (Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) with peer-reviewed studies published between 2013 and 2023. Study Selection: Peer-reviewed studies that included spiritual and psychological intervention components focused on supporting parents during or after the NICU were included for this systematic review. There were 42 records located in 3 databases ultimately yielding 4 peer-reviewed studies that met inclusion criteria. Articles must have been written in English and evaluate parents’/caregivers’ mental health/psychological well-being in relation to a psychospiritual intervention. Data Extraction: Because of the small number of studies, article summaries are provided within the results section and were written by the first author with approval by the second and third authors. Results: Results indicated that when psychological (focus on coping) and spiritual components were included psychological and well-being outcomes were better for NICU parents. Implications for Practice and Research: The inclusion of psychological and spiritual aspects of coping and supportive care is necessary for the best family-centered NICU care. More work needs to be done to develop psychospiritual supports and include fathers in these endeavors as most work occurs with mothers. Nurses need support and training to facilitate family-centered care with a focus on parents’ psychospiritual needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-150
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Neonatal Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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