Studien er publisert i BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Background: The early birth and hospitalization of a preterm infant in neonatal intensive care unit can produce several emotional and behavioural responses including sleep problems for parents. Few studies have explored sleep and its associations with health and HRQoL over time in this vulnerable parent population. This purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a prospective, comparative, longitudinal study of the sleep patterns and psychosocial health of preterm and full-born infants' parents during the first postpartum year.
Methods: A prospective, comparative, longitudinal feasibility study was conducted. Parents of preterm infants were compared to parents of full-born infants to identify if there were differences in outcomes between the groups. The parents were instructed to wear actigraphs and complete sleep diaries for two consecutive weeks, and responded to a digital questionnaire covering stress, insomnia, fatigue, depression, social support, self-efficacy, and health-related quality of life. Survey data were collected at infant ages of 2, 6, and 12 months, actigraphy and sleep diary data were collected at infant age of 2 months only. Descriptive analysis was used to describe recruitment and attrition rates. Differences between completers and dropouts were analysed with a chi-square test (categorical data) and Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon test for two independent samples (continuous variables).
Results: Between June 2019 and March 2020, 25 parents of a preterm infant and 78 parents of a full-born infant were recruited from four neonatal intensive care units and two maternity wards, respectively, in four Norwegian hospitals. Feasibility was predefined as recruiting ≥ 75 parents each of preterm and full-born infants. The target for the full-born group was reached. However, the preterm group recruitment was challenging. Actigraphs, sleep diaries, and questionnaires were evaluated as feasible for use in a future study. Attrition rates were high in both groups at 6 and 12 months. No parent-related characteristics were associated with participation at 6 months. At 12 months, dropouts had a statistically significantly lower age in the full-born group (both parents) and higher age and body mass index in the preterm group (fathers).
Conclusions: A longitudinal study is feasible; however, procedural changes, including using active methods and contacting participants, are necessary to increase the recruitment of preterm infants' parents.