Support Programs for Families of Premature Infants Comparison Essay by scribbler

Support Programs for Families of Premature Infants
A comparison of two family support programs for families of premature infants.
# 153198 | 960 words | 6 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on May 06, 2013 in Child, Youth Issues (Family Issues)

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The paper relates that the increasing numbers of premature births in the United States has led to an increased need for family support programs that help provide the information and support families need in this time of crisis. The paper compares the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Program. The paper describes each program and compares them and finds that both understand the need to provide up-to-date information for families during this time of crisis and both understand the need to train medical professionals in caring for the pscyhosocial needs of these families. The paper notes, however, that it is the March of Dimes' program that takes a whole family approach that includes not only professionals as means of support, but also a parent-to-parent facet that builds a network of peers for new preemie family members to turn to for support.

March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Program
Comparison of Programs
More Effective Program

From the Paper:

"Although the goals of both programs are the same, to alleviate the stress families face as they deal with the needs of a premature infant, However, the two programs go about the support of these families with different tools. For the March of Dimes program, this is a two-pronged approach to family support. The volunteer-based prong of the program is made up primarily of families who have been through the trauma of a premature infant. This parent-to-parent type of support is the foundation of this program, which complements the professional component. NICU professionals receive training about how to sensitively work with families, sensitive and engaging educational material are developed for parents that cover equipment, staff, conditions, and procedures they may encounter. Support and preparation is also given to high-risk pregnancies, the extended families, Spanish-speaking families, and for times after the infant is released from the hospital.
"In contrast, the Harvard Pilgrim program focuses on professionals as the primary support provider for these families, including neonatologists and primary care physicians. The program's aims were also to educate pediatricians regarding the psychosocial needs of families with premature infants. This includes educating HMO physicians and NICU staff in communication amongst providers regarding ways to help families deal with the stress of having a pre-term infant. Like the March of Dimes' program, Harvard Pilgrim also recognized the need for providing up-to-date audiovisual materials and books."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bugge, K., Helseth, S., & Darbyshire, P. (2009). Parents' experiences of a Family Support Program when a parent has incurable cancer. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18, 3480-3488.
  • Dolan, P., Canavan, J., & Pinkerton, J. (2006). Family support as reflective practice . London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Families caring for preemies are at risk. (2011). Retrieved February 20, 2011, from
  • Jotzo M. & Poets C. "Helping parents cope with the trauma of premature birth." Pediatrics, 115. p. 915-919.
  • The NICU Family Support program. (2010). Retrieved February 20, 2011, from

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Support Programs for Families of Premature Infants (2013, May 06) Retrieved March 23, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Support Programs for Families of Premature Infants" 06 May 2013. Web. 23 March. 2023. <>