The Effect of Mother Empowerment Program on Mothers’ Attachment to their Hospitalized Premature Neonates

Document Type : Original Quantitative and Qualitative Research Paper


1 1. Evidence Based Care Research Centre, Instructor of Nursing, Department of Pediatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 MSc Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Associate professor of Neonatology, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Tabriz, Iran

4 Evidence Based Care Research Center, Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 Assistant Professor of Psychology, faculty member of Islamic Azad University, Torbat-e Jam, Iran


Background: Birth of a premature neonate is associated with hospital admission and separation from the family. Admission of the neonates intervenes on infant-mother attachment and so adversely affects on the quality of care given by the mother, and subsequently increases the risk of delayed behavioral problems in the children.
Aim: To assess the effectiveness of mother empowerment program on the premature infant-mother attachment.
Methods: In this randomized clinical trial, 70 mothers of premature infants, admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of Omolbanin hospital of Mashhad in 2014, were divided into of intervention and control groups. The Empowerment program was a multi-step treatment program, in which information about the premature infants was provided to mothers through an illustrated booklet with a workbook and audio file in each step. Mothers in the control group received information and routine care according to the hospital guideline. The mother-infant attachment was measured after the intervention using the maternal and neonatal behaviors Avant tool. Data analysis was performed using chi-square and t-student tests by SPSS software version 11.5.
Results:The mean scores of maternal attachment behaviors after the intervention in the empowerment and control groups were (56.62±8.06) and (39.51±7.77), respectively; the difference between the groups was statistically significant (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Our findings revealed that implementation of mother empowerment program increases the mother-premature-infant attachment. Therefore, it is recommended that the empowerment program be routinely utilized to promote the maternal attachment to the premature neonates hospitalized in NICUs.


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