Factors influencing neonatal intensive care unit nurses' parent partnership development

Published:November 18, 2022DOI:


      • This study examined NICU nurses' perceived partnerships with parents of high-risk infants.
      • We analyzed factors considering King's social dynamic model.
      • NICU nurses' partnership development is affected by personal and interpersonal factors.
      • These results may guide family-centered partnerships to enhance interventions in the NICU.



      Neonatal nurses play an important role in the development of effective partnerships, as they have more consistent interactions with the patients' parents and can encourage parental involvement. This study aimed to identify factors influencing neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses' development of partnerships with parents of high-risk infants in South Korea based on King's interacting systems theory.


      We collected data utilizing a structured questionnaire, which included the following variables: developmental supportive nursing competency, empowerment, emotional intelligence, patient-centered communication skills, interpersonal competence, nursing work environment, and nurse-parent partnership. The participants were 140 pediatric nurses with at least one year of NICU experience in South Korea. We used SPSS/WIN 26.0 to analyze the data.


      Of the factors evaluated, empowerment (β = 0.35, p < 0.001), patient-centered communication skills (β = 0.25, p < 0.01), interpersonal competence (β = −0.27, p = 0.001), emotional intelligence (β = 0.25, p = 0.005), age (β = −0.15, p < 0.01), and gender (β = 0.12, p = 0.03) explained 62.4% of the total variance of the nurse-parent partnership. Our results identify the factors affecting NICU nurses' development of partnerships with parents of high-risk infants.

      Implications for practice

      Strategies and efforts to enhance the nurse-parent relationship must consider improving nurse empowerment, intelligence, and interpersonal factors.


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