Parent mental health and neurodevelopmental outcomes of children hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit

Carmina Erdei, Cindy H. Liu, Michelle Machie, Paige T. Church, Roy Heyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

High-risk infants hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) often receive life-saving interventions during a critical period of development, when their brain is highly sensitive to both positive and negative environmental factors. It is no surprise that this time is particularly challenging for families. In fact, parents of hospitalized newborns are likely to experience clinically-significant symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. These symptoms have the potential to impact the nature and quality of the early parent-infant relationship and can lead to long-term problematic consequences for the infant and the family. As such, perinatal parent mental health represents a key factor that impacts outcomes of high-risk children. We discuss future practices to optimize the wellbeing of NICU infants and their families in the long-term, including increasing awareness and screening for parent mental health in the NICU, as well as building systems for support and early intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105278
JournalEarly Human Development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Neonatal ICU
  • Parent stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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