Document Detail

Maternal stress and the white coat syndrome: a case study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16411539     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Coping with the birth of a preterm infant is a stressful event for mothers for many reasons, including parental role alterations, perception of the infant's illness severity, and uncertainty about the infant's prognosis. Stressors evoke many physiological responses. Fingertip temperature, an electrophysiologic indicator, is a good measure of stress. This case study describes the experience of one mother's negative response to a surgeon's visit to her baby's bedside. Researchers refer to the "white coat" syndrome, in which personnel can significantly affect autonomic function. Increasing our understanding of maternal stress could help ameliorate some of the deleterious effects persistently elevated levels of stress can produce. Further research might focus on the effects of communication with other familiar health care professionals, as well as the influence of Kangaroo Care (skin-to-skin, chest-to-chest contact between caregiver and infant) on maternal stress.
Arthur J Engler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatric nursing     Volume:  31     ISSN:  0097-9805     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatr Nurs     Publication Date:    2005 Nov-Dec
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-01-16     Completed Date:  2006-02-24     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505804     Medline TA:  Pediatr Nurs     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  470-3     Citation Subset:  N    
University of Connecticut, School of Nursing, Storrs, CT, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Psychological
Attitude to Health
Body Temperature
Fingers / blood supply
Hydrocortisone / physiology
Infant Care / psychology
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature* / psychology
Intensive Care, Neonatal / psychology*
Mother-Child Relations
Mothers / psychology*
Neonatal Nursing / organization & administration
Neurosecretory Systems / metabolism,  physiopathology
Nurse's Role
Professional-Family Relations*
Risk Factors
Stress, Psychological / etiology,  physiopathology,  prevention & control,  psychology*
Reg. No./Substance:

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