Perceptions of parents with preterm infants who were hospitalized in a Singapore-based neonatal intensive care unit were observed. Convenience sampling method was used to recruit 8 parents of preterm infants. Semistructured face-to-face in-depth interviews were used to collect data between November 2013 and February 2014. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Four themes were identified: "negative emotions versus positive emotions," "finding ways forward," "nature of support received from various sources," and "need more informational and professional support." Parents of preterm infants experienced a multitude of emotions that varied from shock and sadness to excitement and anticipation through their babies' birth, hospitalization, and impending discharge. These parents adopted several strategies to cope with their birth and subsequent infant hospitalization. While their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) experience was perceived as positive for most parents, some suggestions were made to improve on the information provided and professional care. This study provides evidence to health care professionals in addressing parents' negative emotions and coping abilities in practice. Emotional and informational support for parents is important for them to be more competent in coping with the hospitalization of their newborn in the NICU.
- neonatal intensive care
- preterm infants