Title: Parental perceived stress and its influencing factors among parents with newborns in newborn unit in kericho and bomet countries
Mental health problem, such as acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress is projected to affect 20-30 percent of parents of hospitalized newborns during the first year after birth globally. In Sub Sahara Africa where a large number of premature birth occur there is limited information concerning parental stress on newborn care unit. This study determined parental perceived stress and its influencing factors among parents with newborns admitted in Kericho and Bomet county referral hospitals, Kenya. This study used hospital based descriptive cross sectional analytical design to determine parental perceived stress from newborn care unit among parents of neonates using Parental Stress Scale : neonatal intensive care unit (PSS:NICU). Quantitative approach was employed to gather information among 135 parents who were sampled through simple random sampling method. Quantitative data was collected using pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire through exit interview. Stress was quantified using 5 point Likert scale from 1to 5. The findings showed that most stressful item for both parents was their experience of having their babies hospitalised in the NBU =4.7; 95%CI: 4.4-5.0; P=0.01) with the mean score hitting a maximum on 5.0.Male parents experienced higher stress levels compare to females parents with respect to baby’s unusual or abnormal breathing patterns and small body size of the baby. The current study shows that parents regardless of gender generally experience high stress during their admission to NBU. Conclusion: There is need for appropriate counselling and NBU education support to reduce stress among NBU parents with respect to all the subscales of PSS: NICU.