Parents’ experiences of neonatal transfer. A meta-study of qualitative research 2000-2017

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review

  • Hanne Aagaard
  • Elisabeth Hall
  • ,
  • Mette Spliid Ludvigsen
  • Lisbeth Uhrenfeldt, Danish Center of Systematic Reviews: a Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence, the Center of Clinical Guidelines-Clearing House, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark., Aalborg University, Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, Nord University Bodø
  • ,
  • Liv Fegran, Department of Health and Nursing Science, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway. Electronic address:, Norway
Transfers of critically ill neonates are frequent phenomena. Even though parents’ par-
ticipation is regarded as crucial in neonatal care, a transfer often means that parents
and neonates are separated. A systematic review of the parents’ experiences of neo-
natal transfer is lacking. This paper describes a meta- study addressing qualitative re-
search about parents’ experiences of neonatal transfer. Through deconstruction and
reflections of theories, methods, and empirical data, the aim was to achieve a deeper
understanding of theoretical, empirical, contextual, historical, and methodological is-
sues of qualitative studies concerning parents’ experiences of neonatal transfer over
the course of this meta- study (2000–2017). Meta- theory and meta- method analyses
showed that caring, transition, and family- centered care were main theoretical frames
applied and that interviewing with a small number of participants was the preferred
data collection method. The meta- data- analysis showed that transfer was a scary, un-
familiar, and threatening experience for the parents; they were losing familiar context,
were separated from their neonate, and could feel their parenthood disrupted. We
identified ‘wavering and wandering’ as a metaphoric representation of the parents’
experiences. The findings add knowledge about meta- study as an approach for com-
prehensive qualitative research and point at the value of meta- theory and meta-
method analyses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNursing Inquiry
Pages (from-to)e12231
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

    Research areas

  • experience, family-centered care, meta-study, neonatal care, neonatal transfer, parents, qualitative research, transition

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