Parents’ experiences of transitioning to home with a very-low-birthweight infant : A meta-ethnography
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAagaard, H., Hall, E. O. C., Audulv, Å., Ludvigsen, M. S., Westergren, T., & Fegran, L. (2022). Parents’ experiences of transitioning to home with a very-low-birthweight infant: A meta-ethnography. Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 29(3), 444-452. doi: 10.1016/j.jnn.2022.11.012
Medical-technological advances and neurodevelopmental care have improved the survival of extremely- and very-low-birthweight infants born before 32 weeks’ gestation. After months in neonatal care, the infants are discharged, and parents exited but full of anxiety. This review is designed as a meta-ethnography, addressing parents’ discharge experiences to comprehend the synthesised research, which includes 12 eligible studies. From the analysis, we constructed three themes: ‘approaching discharge with both uncertainty and confidence’; ‘discharge as a longed-for though disordering turning point’; and ‘facing joys, worries and multiple challenges when at home’. The overarching interpretation was ‘discharge as double-edged sword’. We conclude that bringing home very-low-birthweight infants is a joyful event, yet parents also experience discharge as never- endingly worrying, as a time filled with challenges to which parents must adapt and as necessitating contin- uous support from knowledgeable providers.