Fathers' lived experiences of caring for their preterm infant at the neonatal unit and in neonatal home care after the introduction of a parental support programme: A phenomenological study

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Aim: To describe fathers’ lived experiences of caring for their preterm infant at the neonatal unit and in hospital-based neonatal home care after the introduction of an individualised parental support programme. Method: Seven fathers from a larger study were included due to their rich narrative interviews about the phenomenon under study. The interviews took place after discharge from neonatal home care. The theoretical perspective was descriptive phenomenology. Giorgi’s outlines for phenomenological analysis were used. Findings. The general structure of the phenomenon was described by the following four themes: The partner was constantly present in the fathers’ minds; The fathers’ were occupied by worries and concerns; The fathers felt that they were an active partner to the professionals and Getting the opportunity to take responsibility. The fathers were satisfied with the support and treatment during their infant’s hospitalisation. However, there were times when they felt excluded and not fully responsible for their infant. The fathers prioritised the mother, thus ignoring their own needs. Furthermore, they worried about their infant’s health and the alteration of their parental role. Neonatal home care was experienced as a possibility to regain control over family life. Conclusion: The general structure of fathers’ experiences highlights the importance of professionals becoming more responsive to fathers’ needs and to tailoring support to fathers by focusing on their individual experiences and needs.


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TidskriftScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 nov 12
Peer review utfördJa