Do apnea monitors decrease emotional distress in parents of infants at high risk for cardiopulmonary arrest?

Dale Abendroth, Debra K. Moser, Kathleen Dracup, Lynn V. Doering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: The immediate postpartum period is streeful for most parents. The need to use a home apnea monitor may tax parental coping skills even further. Therefore, we conducted a study to assess the pshchosocial consequences of apnea monitoring on parental emotional distress and family functioning. Method: We studied 104 parents of infants at high risk for cardiopulmonary arrest. Fifty-two parents had infants who used home apnea monitors, and 52 parents were agematched and genger-matched control subjects. Data were collected during the infant's hospitalization, and then at 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after discharge. At 1 year, parents were interviewed about their attitudes toward using the apnea monitor. Results: Both groups experienced elevated levels of emotional distress, but the group with infants who used the monitors had significant increases in depression and hostility immediately following discharge from the hospital compared with baseline, whereas the non-monitored group had a significant increase in hospitity at 6 months. At 1-year follow-up, the majority of the parents reported that they used the monitor every night, felt more secure in using it, and j judged it helpful. Discussion: The immediate period following hospital discharge of infants who need to use a home apnea monitor is characterized by significant emotional distress for the parents, which resolves over time. Anticipatory education and counseling of parents is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by grant No. R01 NR02434 from the National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health. Reprint requests: Kathleen Dracup, DNSc, FNP, RN, LW Hassenplug Professor, UCLA School of Nursing, PO Box 951702, Los Angeles, CA 90095-l 702.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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