Perceptions of stress, worry, and support in Black and White mothers of hospitalized, medically fragile infants.
The purpose of this article is to describe maternal perceptions about hospital-related stressors, worry about the infant's health, and support from the health care team in mothers of medically fragile infants. A second purpose was to explore possible differences between Black and White mothers on these same variables. Participants were 31 Black and 38 White mothers of infants who were hospitalized in a tertiary hospital for a serious life-threatening illness. Data were collected using five self-report questionnaires. All mothers reported high levels of stress associated with the appearance of their infants and moderately high stress associated with their altered parental role, moderately high levels of worry about their infants' health problems, and high support from nursing and the health care team. Black mothers were more stressed by the sights and sounds of the hospital environment; however, the levels of their stress were only moderate. On the other hand, mothers with less education expressed more worry about their infants than did mothers with more education. Findings have implications for helping mothers during the hospitalization of a critically ill infant.
Miles, MS; Burchinal, P; Holditch-Davis, D; Brunssen, S; Wilson, SM
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