Around 2,000 sick or premature infants are admitted each year to intensive care units in Northern Ireland--8.1 per cent of the live birth population. Studies show that having a premature or 'high-risk' infant is stressful for both parents, yet most research focuses on the mothers' experiences. A literature review was undertaken in preparation for a study exploring fathers' experiences of caring for an infant admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit. It identified seven papers reporting primary research on the fathers' experiences, and others in which their views were included or assumed. Among the findings were that fathers react and cope differently from mothers, and may be burdened by having to take time off work. In addition, they may not perceive themselves as the primary caregiver to their sick infant, but rather providing a supporting role.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/maria_lohan/2/