Objective: To assess the main functions of parent-provider communication in the neonatal (intensive) care unit (NICU) and determine what adequate communication entails according to both parents and health professionals. Methods: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative research. PubMed, Ebsco/PsycINFO, Wiley/Cochrane Library, Ebsco/CINAHL, Clarivate Analytics/Web of Science Core Collection, and Elsevier/Scopus were searched in October-November 2019 for records on interpersonal communication between parents and providers in neonatal care. Title/abstract screening and full-text analysis were conducted by multiple, independent coders. Data from included articles were analyzed using deductive and inductive thematic analysis. Results: 43 records were included. Thematic analysis of data resulted in the development of the NICU Communication Framework, including four functions of communication (1. building/maintaining relationships, 2. exchanging information, 3. (sharing) decision-making, 4. enabling parent self-management) and five factors that contribute to adequate communication across these functions (topic, aims, location, route, design) and, thereby, to tailored parent-provider communication. Conclusion: The NICU Communication Framework fits with the goals of Family Integrated Care to encourage parent participation in infants’ care. This framework forms a first step towards the conceptualization of (adequate) communication in NICU settings. Practice implications: Findings can be used to improve NICU communication in practice, in particular through the mnemonic TAILORED.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a personal grant awarded to N.H.M. Labrie by the Dutch Research Council (NWO, VI.Veni.191S.032). The funding source had no involvement in the study design; the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; the writing of the report; and the decision to submit the article for publication.
© 2020 The Author(s)
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Adequate interpersonal communication
- Communication functions
- Neonatal intensive care unit
- NICU communication framework
- Patient-provider communication
- Patient-provider relationships
- Preterm infants
- Systematic review
- Tailored communication