Scoping review of interventions to support families with preterm infants post-NICU discharge

Published:August 27, 2022DOI:


      • Families of preterm infants are often confronted with uncertainties and stressors.
      • Parents experience a lack of support and resources during the transition to home.
      • A successful transition to home is critical for optimal infant health outcomes.
      • Face-to-face and remote communication may be implemented post-discharge.
      • Families may benefit from family-focused post-NICU discharge interventions.



      A successful transition from the NICU to home is fundamental for the long-term health and well-being of preterm infants. Post-NICU discharge, parents may experience a lack of support and resources during the transition to home. The purpose of this scoping review was to identify post-NICU discharge interventions that may reduce parental stress and provide support to families with preterm infants.


      Systematic searches of databases, i.e., PubMed, Web of Science, and CINAHL. Inclusion criteria were data-based articles: 1) published in English between 2011 and 2021, 2) published in peer-reviewed journals, (3) focused on families with preterm infants, and (4) focused on interventions to reduce parental stress and provide support to families with preterm infants post-NICU discharge.


      26 articles were included and synthesized. We identified the following face-to-face and remote communication interventions: in-person home visits, phone/video calls, text messages, periodic email questionnaires, mobile/website apps, and online social networking sites.


      Families may highly benefit from a comprehensive family-focused post-NICU discharge follow-up intervention that includes face-to-face and remote communication and support. Post-NICU discharge interventions are imperative to provide education related to infant care and health, increase parental confidence and competency, increase parent-infant relationship, promote emotional and social support, reduce unplanned hospital visits, parental stress, and maternal post-partum depression.


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