Parental recall of infant medical complications and its relationship to delivery method and education level

C. J.R. Simons, Susan K. Ritchie, Martha D. Mullett, Edward A. Liechty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Since relatively little is known as to why parents find it difficult to recognize when their high-risk infant ceases to be ill, this investigation examined parental reports of infant complications and the relationship these reports had with parental education level and method of delivery. Using a questionnaire format, 60 parents reported complications their infants experienced during NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) hospitalization. Maternal and paternal reports were comparable, although both significantly differed from actual diagnoses; parents underreported their infant's complications. Reported complications were not related to parental education level but were associated with method of delivery. Parents of Caesarean-section (C-section) infants identified a significantly smaller percentage of complications than did parents of vaginally delivered babies. It is suggested that (1) medical caregivers have the potential for helping parents more fully comprehend infant complications, (2) supplemental communication methods maybe necessary for the task in (1), and (3) information communicated to parents may need to incorporate the current findings about parental education level and delivery method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-360
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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