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Dissertation

Maternal Visitation in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

1 January 2017

Abstract

Infants hospitalized in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are at increased risk for developmental complications due to neonatal illness and early disruptions in bonding and attachment. While there is significant research on the importance of early attachment processes in child development, there is limited research on visitation patterns in the NICU setting and on factors that may specifically influence maternal visitation. This study examined biopsychosocial factors, including Apgar scores, maternal postpartum depression, insurance status (as a proxy of socioeconomic status), ethnicity and gender, to determine possible factors that influence maternal NICU visitation. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted to test the effects of biopsychosocial factors on visitation duration. Insurance status, as indicated by private or public insurance, significantly predicted visitation duration and accounted for 5% of the variance in maternal visitation. Continued research is recommended to examine factors related to NICU visitation patterns, as well as factors associated with insurance status in the United States.


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