Table 2

Included prospective cohort studies

Prospective cohort studies by publication year
(date), country
Parents’ gender/sample sizeInfants’ gestation age in weeks/NICU levelStudy designInterventionOutcome measuresTiming of measurementMethod of measurementResultsParent co-design?Improved parent satisfaction?
1. De Bernardo et al (2017), ItalyMothers and fathers/96Mean (SD)
34.2 (5.25)

Intervention: 32.7 (5.25)
/level III
Non-randomised, prospective cohort pilot study
Unit level effect:
Two different time periods
Intervention: FCC.
Parents had access to NICU for 8 hours/day. The NICU was widened and paediatric nurses taught parents procedures/practices for 10 days. Parents could observe clinical bedside rounds, hold meetings with the physicians, use the rooms and kitchen.
Control: parents were permitted to visit their baby in NICU for 1 hour a day.
Parent satisfaction relating to three specific domains:
  1. Knowledge and Understanding.

  2. Communication and collaboration.

  3. Privacy and confidentiality.

During babies’ admission (once)
  • At discharge (pre-FCC cohort and post-FCC cohort).

No preintervention parent satisfaction data available for comparison (different parent groups preintervention and postintervention).
Satisfaction questionnaire.
Validation: the authors state the survey ‘was designed and validated by Abdel-Latif et al’. No content validity or reliability testing reported in the original paper.
Nine questions
three questions: Related to adequate and timely information about the baby’s condition.
three questions: Related to communication and collaboration with the healthcare team.
Three questions: Related to respect of patient privacy.
Likert (1 strongly disagree–5 strongly agree).
7/9 individual statements in the parent satisfaction questionnaire scored higher in the FCC compared with the NFCC (statistically significant difference).
Example statement:
“I have received adequate information about my baby’s condition and management”.
Intervention Control
Median 5 (3.45–5) 4 (3–5)
P value<0.05
2. Petteys et al (2015), USANot stated/10 parents included in sample analysis24–36+/level IIIA prospective cohort design.
A feasibility study.
Group level effect: Intervention/ control groups
Postintervention testing only
Intervention: PC.
PC nurses provided important continuity of care for NICU infants clinically requiring PC and at least weekly verbal support of parents. The PC service also coordinated family conferences, provided or requested orders to improve infant symptom management and comfort and addressed parental coping and self-care.
Control: usual clinical care for infants not requiring PC.
Overall satisfaction with care received.During babies’ admission (once)
  • At discharge (or study closure for infants who remained hospitalised).

No preintervention parent satisfaction data available for comparison.
Satisfaction questionnaire

A researcher-created questionnaire based on extensive current literature review.
Validation: Partially reported. Authors stated content validity testing took place; no information on reliability testing provided.
One question
Likert (1 extremely dissatisfied–4 to extremely satisfied).
Optional free text (description of specific experiences impacting satisfaction with care).
Parent satisfaction response numbers were small (n=10), thus statistical comparison of parental satisfaction between cohorts was not possible.
However, 100% of responding PC parents (n=2) reported being ‘extremely satisfied’ with care, whereas only 50% of responding usual care parents (n=4) reported extreme satisfaction.
3. Stevens et al (2011), USAMothers/147. For the OPBY NICU, 58 surveys were returned. For the SFR NICU, 89 were returnedMean (SD)
Control: 35 (4)
Intervention: 34 (3)
/level not stated
Cohort trial. This research was part of a large prospective evaluation.
Unit level effect:
Two different time periods
Intervention: SFR NICU for neonatal care.
Parents could visit their baby, room-in, do kangaroo care and breast feed at any time, in individual rooms (containing bed, desk, closet, telephone, chair, refrigerator for breast-milk storage).
Control: OPBY NICU. The traditional OPBY NICU was typical of facilities built before 1980. All neonates, family members, staff, monitors and equipment were visible for all neonates in each room. Portable partitions were placed around the incubator for breast feeding and kangaroo care.
Parent satisfaction with different elements of NICU:
  • Delivery.

  • Environment.

  • Nurses.

  • Physicians.

  • Discharge.

  • Personal.

  • Overall assessment.

After babies were discharged (once)
  • Mailed within 60 days of discharge of parents’ infants from the NICU.

No preintervention parent satisfaction data available for comparison (different parent groups preintervention and postintervention).
Satisfaction questionnaire

A questionnaire from Press Ganey Associates was used. Also included were three questions added by the investigators.
Validation: Partially reported. The original questionnaire was validated questionnaire but no content validity or reliability testing was reported regarding the three questions added by the study team.
Forty-two questions in total (seven categories):
delivery, environment, nurses,
physicians, discharge, personal,
overall assessment.
Likert (1 very poor–5 very good).
Statistically significant improvement was found for the survey categories of Environment, Overall and the Total survey.
Estimated numbers from report’s figures as numbers not provided):
Median SFR OPBY P value
Environment 4.7 3.7<0.001
Overall 5 4.8 0.018
Total 4.7 4.5 0.045
16 items composite score for FCC:
4.4 4.0 0.017

Former NICU parents were involved in all phases of planning for the new SFR NICU.
  • FCC, family centred care; NICU, neonatal intensive care unit; OPBY, Open-bay; PC, palliative care; SFR, single-family room.