Year of Publication

2011

Date of Thesis

03-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

Family-centered care (FCC) stresses collaboration between parents and health professionals, balancing families' resources with professionals' experience. Locus of control (LOC) is the extent to which a person believes he has control over life events. Research indicates significant relationships between FCC and parental LOC; however, these studies were mainly conducted in early intervention settings. In this study, 57 mothers of infants in the NICU within the past 12 months completed an online survey. It included a demographic questionnaire, the Parental Health Locus of Control scale (PHLOC), measuring parents' beliefs about factors influencing their children's health, and the Measure of Processes of Care (MPOC-20), which quantifies parental perceptions into five areas of family-centered care. Significant positive correlations were found between NICU stay and the number of professional services received in the NICU and post-discharge. Significant negative correlations were found between control in professionals and mother's age, income and control in a divine being, and number of children and frequency of FCC events. This correlational study cannot suggest a cause and effect relationship between FCC services and mothers' beliefs that professionals influence their children's health. However, it does suggest that providing FCC services may help foster parental trust in their children's health care providers.

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