Vol. 24 No. 1 (2020): Journal of Nursing Pensar Enfermagem

Predicting factors of stress in neonatology units: neonatal unit parental stress assessment scale pre-validation study

Fátima Maria Relvas Pacheco Calado de Sousa
Enfermeira, Licenciada, Unidade Neonatologia Hospital de Santa Maria, Mestranda na área de especialização em Enfermagem de Saúde Infantil e Pediatria na Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa
Maria Alice dos Santos Curado
RN, MSc, PhD, Professor Coordenador, Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa

Published 2020-09-29


  • Parental stress,
  • Predictors of stress,
  • Neonatology,
  • Scale,
  • Validation studies

How to Cite

Relvas Pacheco Calado de Sousa, F. M., & dos Santos Curado, M. A. (2020). Predicting factors of stress in neonatology units: neonatal unit parental stress assessment scale pre-validation study. Pensar Enfermagem, 24(1), 17–26. https://doi.org/10.56732/pensarenf.v24i1.166


Introduction: Having a child in Neonatology is an experience that exposes parents to different stressors due to the aggressive environment and the fragility of the newborn, but also due to the perception that they develop in relation to their (in) ability to take care of the child and the difficulty in making the transition to parenting. Nurses has a crucial role when intervening in order to prevent or reduce the impact of stressful situations, supporting their practice in the investigation and its results, using instruments to assess the parents’ responses to stress in Neonatology, in order to standardize interventions, the consistency of nursing care and their visibility. Method: Analytical, observational, cross-sectional and correlational study with a quantitative approach. The sampling is non-random, casual. The sample size consists of 172 observations (parents of newborns admitted to NICUs). Data collection was performed using the Escala de Avaliação do Stress Parental na Neonatologia - EASPUN. Objective: To evaluate the predictive factors for Parental Stress in Neonatology Units and to pre-validate the instrument. Data analysis were performed using SPSS Statistics
Software (SPSS® Statistics, (v.26), SPSS An IBM Company, New York, IL). Results: EASPUN has psychometric sensitivity. The reliability of the items was estimated based on their internal consistency at the global level and in the four dimensions using Cronbach’s alfa which presented estimates above the reference value (0.70). The analysis of the multiple linear regression coefficients and their statistical significance revealed that, of the predictors considered, the age of the parents and the gestational age are significant predictors of the dimension Aspect and Behavior of the newborn (ß = 0.16, t (167) = 2.17; p = 0.03) and in the Social and Family Relationship dimension, only the parental age predictor is statistically significant (ß = 0.19, t (167) = 2.60; p = 0.01). Conclusions: The sensitivity and reliability of the scale’s estimate items is above the reference values. If this scale presents psychometric qualities, it will facilitate parental stress assessment, emphasizing emotional support and well-being as a priority, always focusing on collaborative care centered on the family and neuroprotectors.


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