Maternal Involvement in Pain Management in a Neonatal Unit at a Referral Hospital in Kenya

Deborah Kemunto Kereri, O'Brien Kyololo


Introduction: Hospitalized neonates undergo many diagnostic and care-related painful procedures each day without adequate treatment. The sub-optimal treatment of pain occurs despite the empirical evidence that repeated and untreated pain has severe immediate and long-term consequences. The objectives of the study were to determine the level of maternal involvement in neonatal pain treatment and factors that influence maternal involvement during procedures.

Methods: This was a descriptive cross sectional study based in Nakuru Referral Hospital's Newborn unit among Mothers of hospitalized neonates. Data was collected using questionnaires among a sample of One hundred and two mothers.

Results: The mean age of respondents was 24.4 years (SD=6.0, range: 15-27). Two thirds of mothers had never been present during procedures while 85(87%) wished to be involved during painful procedures. Support from health care providers (HCPs) (OR=11.41, 95% CI [1.11-117.72], p =.041) and adequate space in the unit (OR=6.44, 95% CI [1.41-29.56], p =.02) influenced maternal involvement during painful procedures.

Conclusion: Mothers’ level of involvement during painful procedures was low. Support by HCPs and adequacy of space in the unit significantly influenced maternal involvement during procedures. There is need for HCPs to consider mothers’ views and to involve them in comforting neonates during painful procedures.


Neonate, pain treatment, involvement

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