Keywords: Fathers, neonatal intensive care unit, information, preterm infant
Objective: The aim of this study was to examine how fathers of infants who were cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit experienced information during hospitalization.
Methods: The study design was inductive, qualitative and descriptive. Eight fathers in two neonatal units were interviewed, four on each unit, aged 20 - 40. Data were collected through semi-structured, individual interviews, using an interview guide. The results were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Results: Information has an important influence on these fathers; clear and adequate information leads to increased knowledge, which in itself generates in a greater wellbeing and a sense of control. The staff at the neonatal intensive care unit will determine the quality of information, and through encouragement, support and guidance helping them to achieve a sense of security among the fathers. Early information about the neonatal intensive care unit care form is particularly important as it affects the attachment between father and child in a positive way. The first information can preferably be administered prenatally, as it may help the fathers to focus on delivery and feel a greater security on arrival at the unit.
Conclusion: The staff at the neonatal intensive care unit is a critical factor for the quality of the information. Clear information early during the hospital stay increases the father's sense of security, and gives the feeling of control of the situation, thereby facilitating the father´s attachment to his child, and his involvement in the care of the child.