Effects of Single-Family Rooms and Open-Bay Rooms on NICU Parents’ Separation Anxiety


Hospital policies and accommodations can inhibit the physical time spent between parents and their child in the NICU, leading to parent-infant separation during maternal and neonatal care. Single family rooms (SFR) can facilitate closeness of parents and infants, while open bay units (OBU) have several infants together with minimal space for parents to stay. The admission of infants to the NICU increases parental feelings of psychological distress and anxiety. Parents in the NICU often experience heightened distress and guilt when physically separated from their baby, with 40-50% of parents suffering from significant levels of depression, anxiety, and trauma, adding an extra layer of emotional burden. Studies show NICU single family room layouts enable the parents to continuously stay with their infants, decreasing the risk of parental anxiety.

Evidence-based practice, NICU, Parental separation anxiety, Open-bay, Single-family room