Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sclinda Janssen


Infant, Premature; Parents -- education


One of the many challenges facing health care professionals practicing in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is providing appropriate care and support for parents throughout the transition process from hospital to home. Because the families are often the ultimate advocates and caregivers for infants it is important that they are well equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to take part in their infant’s care. Therefore, by providing clear and easy to use resources that address parental confidence, skills, knowledge, roles, routines, and the environment, professionals can help alleviate parental stress and uncertainty throughout the transition process.

An extensive review of literature was completed in order to determine the unmet needs of parents and their infants’ as they transition home from the NICU. During this review of literature, programs that address this population were reviewed; however, the programs in place only address the unmet needs of the infants. There is a lack of programs that address the unmet needs of parents whose infants are transitioning home from the NICU. We also visited with a local occupational therapist who works with this population in order to find out more about the unmet needs of parents. It was concluded that parents may benefit from the provision of a user friendly resource manual that can be utilized by occupational therapists when working with parents as their infant transitions home.

A resource manual was developed to provide occupational therapists with an easy to understand guide to help address the unmet needs of parents. The manual starts out by providing a brochure that can be given to parents to describe the role of occupational therapy. Initial and discharge evaluations are then included for the occupational therapist to measure the parents needs before and after use of the manual. The remainder of the manual is divided into sections and includes information about: developing confidence and self-efficacy, adjusting to new roles and routines, developing caregiving skills and knowledge, as well as tips to address the environment. Each section provides easy to use handouts and worksheets for occupational therapists to use in order to address the unique unmet needs of parents.