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J Caring Sci. 2015 Mar 1;4(1):13-24. doi: 10.5681/jcs.2015.002. eCollection 2015 Mar.

Mothers' strategies in handling the prematurely born infant: a qualitative study.

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Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
Department of Pediatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Departments of Medical and Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medical Science, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.



Family, especially mother, is faced with numerous challenges by experiencing a premature birth. Since knowing about mother's efforts regarding prematurely born infant helps us in our comprehensive understanding of the impact of this incident on the family system and its performance. The present study was carried out to explore the mothers' strategies regarding prematurely born infant.


In a conventional qualitative content analysis, data was collected through purposive sampling by semi-structured deep interviews with 18 mothers who had prematurely born infant during 2012-2013 in the teaching hospitals of the north and northwest of Iran. All the interviews were recorded, typed, and finally analyzed.


Data analysis resulted in the extraction of categories of "asking for help, elevating capacity and reducing personal responsibilities and commitments". These categories were revealed in mothers respectively by the different sub-categories of "religious appeal and relying on beliefs, seeking information from the treatment and caring team, participating in infant's care, companionship and support of family and friends","focusing on positive thinking and imagination, patience and strength " and "ignoring some routine affairs and reducing role-related activities and duties".


Considering the uniqueness of the mother's role in responding to the needs of infants, healthcare system should consider mothers as real target in the intervention strategies in order to promote health and quality of life, so maybe this way, the burden of care and management of critical situations caused by a premature birth on the mother can be reduced.


Infant; Mothers; Premature; Qualitative study; Work

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