Stacy is a Registered Nurse and full time academic at Western Sydney University (Australia). Her research interests include vulnerable children and families, child protection and foster care.
Infant Mental Health is based on the understanding that the infant period of development lays the foundation for psychological, emotional and social development. The concept of attachment is fundamental to infant mental health. Loosely defined, attachment refers to an affective relationship between the infant and a particular, preferred individual (usually the infant’s biological mother). It is within this primary attachment relationship that infants develop their ability to emotionally self-regulate and socially interact. There is consistent evidence that compromised or absent attachment in infancy leads to significant social, emotional and psychological sequale in adulthood.\r\nNeonatal Abstinence Sydrome is a term used to describe infants who are born physically dependant on drugs of addiction. These infants require specialised treatment and are often hosptialised for extended periods of time. Current research and policy regarding hospitalised infants with NAS focus on symptom relief and physiologic health. There is a scarcity of literature or reference to the importance of promoting the mental health of these infants.\r\nSocial and health policy acknowledge the significance of the infant primary attachment relationship. However, in current clinical practice little is done to support or faciliate attachment for hospitalised infants with NAS. This is particularly problematic as infants with NAS often have limited to no interaction with their mothers due to poor maternal health, maternal issues of addiction and/or the involvement of child protection services. \r\nThis paper highlights the gaps in current policy, practice and research in relation to the mental health of hospitalised infants with NAS. Specifically, it highlights implications for nurses at the infant bedside and makes recommendation for future practice and research. \r\n
Zahra Imani-goghary is a PHD candidate in Nursing with a 10 year work experience in ICU ward and providing care to VS patients. Due to transferring the patient care to family caregivers in Iran, she decided to do some studies about their experiences, coping process and needs.
Background: Vegetative state (VS) occurs through re¬turn of the brain stem after coma state. After hospital discharge, responsibility of caring of VS patients is transferred to their families, which causes high burden to them.\r\n\r\nObjectives: To explore the family caregivers’ experiences of caring at home for a patient with vegetative state.\r\n\r\nMethod: This study is a part of a larger qualitative study which was performed in Kerman province, Iran during 2014-2015. Purposive and theoretical sampling was used. 16 caregivers participated in the study. Data were gathered by using face-to-face in-depth interviews and were managed by MAXQDA 10 software. Analysis was done through constant Comparative Method.\r\n\r\nResults: The main theme \"Bothersome care\" was derived from analysis. The categories include “high burden of caring”, “silent but alive patient”, “defect of support” and “caregiver social isolation”. These theme and categories represent caregiving burden which family caregivers experience during the care process of vegetative patients.\r\n\r\nConclusion: Family caregivers of VS patients due to the nature of disease, experience high physical, emotional and financial burden during caring process, they face with an alive but completely depended patient and an unmet need for social support and caregivers limit their social interactions due to society’s attitude.\r\n