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Cross-sectional study
Mothers of very preterm infants experience less stress and depressive symptoms if the neonatal unit has good measures to reduce painful experiences for the infant
  1. Peter H Gray
  1. Mater Mothers’ Hospital—Newborn Services, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia;

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Implications for practice and research

  • Attention to pain management for preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is of major importance.

  • A focused approach to developmental care rather than general measures may be beneficial.

  • Follow-up of very preterm mothers regarding their levels of stress following neonatal intervention is important.


While the parents of preterm infants experience only slightly more stress that parents of infants born at term during the first year of life,1 mothers of very preterm infants have increased levels of stress and depression while the child is hospitalised.2 As parenting …

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  • Competing interests None.