The impact of web-cameras on parent-infant attachment in the neonatal intensive care unit

Gibson, Rachel, and Kilcullen, Meegan (2020) The impact of web-cameras on parent-infant attachment in the neonatal intensive care unit. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 52. e77-e83.

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Problem: The introduction of web-cameras in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) has made it possible for parents to see their sick or premature infant when they cannot be close to them due to prolonged hospital admissions. However, there is a paucity of research into the impact of this technology on the wellbeing of families. A systematic review was conducted to identify previous research and suggest avenues for future inquiry.

Eligibility criteria: Research studies written in English that investigated the impact of web-cameras on parent-infant attachment in the NICU were sought for inclusion. However, due to the dearth of studies focused on this question, the eligibility criteria were extended to include any study that assessed the impact of web-camera use on mechanisms that impact attachment quality, such as bonding, anxiety, stress, and depression.

Results: A total of 152 articles were identified. After duplicates and other non-suitable articles were removed, three studies met eligibility criteria for review.

Conclusion: There are promising indications that the use of web-cameras in the NICU enhances parent-infant attachment by strengthening parents' feelings of closeness to their infants, increasing parental responsiveness and reducing parental stress and anxiety. However, while the overall effects appear to be positive, negative impacts affecting a small proportion of parents were identified. This highlights the need to identify who is most likely to benefit from web-camera technology and who requires alternative supports.

Implications: Web-cameras are a useful adjunct to methods of family-centred care, however, more research is needed to optimise their use and minimise potential harm.

Item ID: 62240
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1532-8449
Keywords: neonatal intensive care unit, NICU, parents, infants, web-cameras, parent-infant attachment, bonding, stress, anxiety, depression
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2020 19:17
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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