Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Impact of web-camera viewing of neonates on parent stress, anxiety, and bonding
by Rhoads Kinder, Sarah Jane, Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2013, 102; 3563502
Abstract (Summary)

Introduction: Parents who have neonates in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) may face weeks or months of separation from their neonate. Web-camera technology is being used to lessen the separation but little is known about the impact of web-camera viewing on parents or about parental use of web-cameras. This concurrent nested mixed methods study examined the use and impact of web-camera viewing.

Methods: All parents who had a hospitalized neonate and used the web-camera to view their baby were asked to participate. Measures of stress, anxiety and bonding (three standardized measures) were administered at baseline, 1 week, and 2 weeks after initiating web-camera use. Qualitative participants were given four open-ended questions. All data were completed electronically. User statistics were analyzed from September 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012.

Results: Two hundred and twenty parents (119 mothers, 101 fathers) used the web-camera system since September 1, 2010. Mothers and fathers means were similar in the number of log-ons (LO) (95 vs. 95.6 times) and the maximum time viewed (MxV) (92 vs. 84 minutes). Although there was a wider variation in the number of minutes viewed (MV) (1812 vs. 1294 minutes), the difference was not statistically significant. Forty-two parents participated a subset of 13 parents participated in the qualitative portion. A correlation was not demonstrated between anxiety or bonding with MV. There was a correlation between Parental Stressor Scale: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, subscale Baby, and MV and MxV all three times. Qualitative participants identified three themes: parents would rather be there in person instead of web-camera, overall positive impact on stress and anxiety, and parents still want to be with their baby to bond.

Discussion: Findings from this study highlight the complex nature of the NICU experience for parents. Mothers and fathers use the web-camera system equally even though it has been documented in the literature that fathers physically visit the NICU less than mothers, therefore web-cameras could potentially enhance paternal involvement in the NICU. Although this was a small pilot study, the findings are important for the NICUs which are implementing web-camera technology and promoting best practices of use.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Green, Angela L.
Commitee: Kennedy, Robert L., Lowery, Curtis L., Mitchell, Anita, Pate, Barbara L.
School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Department: Nursing Science
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: DAI-B 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Medicine, Nursing
Keywords: Anxiety, Bonding, Neonatal intensive care units, Stress, Telehealth, Web cameras
Publication Number: 3563502
ISBN: 978-1-303-11843-2
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