The effect of the supportive program on the anxiety of mothers of infants with gastrointestinal anomalies

  • Aleheh Seyedrasooli Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Jamileh Malakouti Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Mahnaz Jabraeili Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Soraya Heykalabadi Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Morteza Ghogazadeh Woman's Reproductive Health Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz Medical Sciences University, Tabriz, Iran
support; program; anxiety; mothers; infants; gastrointestinal anomalies


Background & Aim: The birth of an abnormal infant and his admission to the intensive care unit creates various mental health effects on their mothers and increases their anxiety. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of supportive programs on the anxiety of mothers of infants with gastrointestinal anomalies.

Methods & Materials: This randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Tabriz, Iran. In this study, 50 mothers who had infants with gastrointestinal anomalies were assigned randomly to control and intervention groups. The control group received routine care, and the intervention group received special supportive care: emotional, informational, self-esteem, and caring support during four sessions for a 45-minute duration. Maternal anxiety was measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Data were analyzed by using SPSS/19 and paired-sample and independent t-test.

Results: The results showed that both groups of mothers had high-level anxiety in the pre-test. In the post-test, the mothers' anxiety level in the intervention group was significantly lower than the control group. ANCOVA test to compare the mean difference of state and trait anxiety in both groups showed that these changes were statistically significant (P<0.001).

Conclusion:  This study tried to introduce a protocol to protect mothers of gastrointestinal anomalies, which could be used in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The findings of this study also highlighted the importance of supporting one of the fundamental principles of family-centered care. Based on the outcomes of this research, emotional, informational, self-esteem, and caring support could reduce the mother’s anxiety.


1. Lotto R, Smith LK, Armstrong N. Diagnosis of a severe congenital anomaly: A qualitative analysis of parental decision making and the implications for healthcare encounters. Health Expectations. 2018 Jun;21(3):678-84.
2. Shawky RM, Sadik DI. Congenital malformations prevalent among Egyptian children and associated risk factors. Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics. 2011;12(1):69-78.
3. Vatankhah S, Jalilvand M, Sarkhosh S, Azarmi M, Mohseni M. Prevalence of congenital anomalies in Iran: A review article. Iranian journal of public health. 2017 Jun;46(6):733-43.
4. Mashhadi Abdolahi H, Karamooz M, Kargar Maher M, Khosroshahi H, Dastgiri S. Epidemiological Features of Congenital Anomalies in Tabriz District, a Population Based Study. Depiction of Health. 2014;5(3):26-30.
5. Lemacks J, Fowles K, Mateus A, Thomas K. Insights from parents about caring for a child with birth defects. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2013;10(8):3465-82.
6. Gregory MRB, Prouhet PM, Russell CL, Pfannenstiel BR. Quality of Life for Parents of Children With Congenital Heart Defect: A Systematic Review. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. 2018;33(4):363-71.
7. Fonseca A, Nazaré B, Canavarro MC. Parental psychological distress and quality of life after a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of congenital anomaly: a controlled comparison study with parents of healthy infants. Disability and health journal. 2012;5(2):67-74.
8. Fontoura FC, Cardoso MVLML, Rodrigues SE, Almeida PCd, Carvalho LB. Anxiety of mothers of newborns with congenital malformations in the pre-and postnatal periods. Revista latino-americana de enfermagem. 2018;26:e3080
9. Hockenberry MJ, Wilson D. Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children-E-Book: Elsevier Health Sciences; 2014.
10. Woolf‐King SE, Anger A, Arnold EA, Weiss SJ, Teitel D. Mental health among parents of children with critical congenital heart defects: a systematic review. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2017;6(2):e004862.
11. Jabraeili M, Arshadi M, Namdar H, Ghojazadeh M, Jafarpour Z, Najafi F. Correlation of perceived nursing support with stress and self-confidence among the mothers of infants with congenital gastrointestinal anomalies. Nursing and Midwifery Studies. 2018 Oct 1;7(4):163-7.
12. Browne NT, Flanigan LM, McComiskey CA, Pieper P. Nursing care of the pediatric surgical patient. Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2008 Jul 7.
13. Warren SM, Proctor MR, Bartlett SP, Blount JP, Buchman SR, Burnett W, et al. Parameters of care for craniosynostosis: craniofacial and neurologic surgery perspectives. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. 2012;129(3):731-7.
14. Gephart SM, McGrath JM. Family-centered care of the surgical neonate. Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews. 2012;12(1):5-7.
15. Nicol-Harper R, Harvey AG, Stein A. Interactions between mothers and infants: Impact of maternal anxiety. Infant Behavior and Development. 2007;30(1):161-7.
16.Committee OHC, Institute FP, Family-Centered CA. Patient-and family-centered care and the pediatrician's role. Pediatrics. 2012 Feb;129(2:394.
17.Kuo DZ, Houtrow AJ, Arango P, Kuhlthau KA, Simmons JM, Neff JM. Family-centered care: current applications and future directions in pediatric health care. Maternal and child health journal. 2012;16(2):297-305.
18.Akbarbeglou M, Valizadeh L, Asadollahi M. Mothers and nurses viewpoint about importance and rate of nursing supports for parents with hospitalized premature newborn in natal intensive care unit. Intensive Care Nursing Journal 2009;2(2):71-4.
19. Miles MS, Carlson J, Brunssen S. The nurse parent support tool. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 1999;14(1):44-50.
20.Spielberger CD. State‐Trait anxiety inventory. The Corsini encyclopedia of psychology. 2010:1.
21.El Sawy AA. Anxiety level and difficult patients in prosthodontic clinic. Journal of American Science. 2012;8(1):258-63.
22.Jackson MR. Resistance to qual/quant parity: Why the “paradigm” discussion can’t be avoided. Qualitative Psychology. 2015;2(2):181.
23.Nidey N, Moreno Uribe LM, Marazita MM, Wehby GL. Psychosocial well‐being of parents of children with oral clefts. Child: care, health and development. 2016;42(1):42-50.
24. Kolaitis GA, Meentken MG, Utens EM. Mental health problems in parents of children with congenital heart disease. Frontiers in pediatrics. 2017 May 8;5:102.
25.Jones M, Parker S, Mai C, Canfield M, Rickard R, Wang Y, et al. Anomalies associated with cleft lip, cleft palate, or both. The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal. 2018;55(1):137-56.
26.ArshadiBostanabad M, NamdarArshatnab H, Balila M, Asghari Jafarabadi M, Ravanbakhsh K. Effect of Family-centered Intervention in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Anxiety of Parents. International Journal of Pediatrics. 2017;5(6):5101-11.
27. Craig J, Glick C, Phillips R, Hall S, Smith J, Browne J. Recommendations for involving the family in developmental care of the NICU baby. Journal of Perinatology. 2015;35(S1):S5.
28.Baker SR, Owens J, Stern M, Willmot D. Coping strategies and social support in the family impact of cleft lip and palate and parents’ adjustment and distress. The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal. 2009;46(3):229-36.
29. Werner O, El Louali F, Fouilloux V, Amedro P, Ovaert C. Parental anxiety before invasive cardiac procedure in children with congenital heart disease: Contributing factors and consequences. Congenital heart disease. 2019 Sep;14(5):778-84.
30.Pomicino L, Maccacari E, Buchini S. Levels of anxiety in parents in the 24 hr before and after their child's surgery: A descriptive study. Journal of clinical nursing. 2018;27(1-2):278-87.
31.Toosi M, Akbarzadeh M, Zare N, Sharif F. Effect of Attachment Training on Anxiety and Attachment Behaviors of first-time Mothers. Hayat. 2011;17(3):69-79.
32.Moghadasi M, soltanahmadi Z, Azizzadeh Forozi M, Mahdizadeh A, Jahani Y. the effect of supportive counseling on reducing the anxiety of women at risk of preterm birth. Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Urmia University of Medical Sciences. 2016;14(2):151-8.
33.Uhm J-Y, Kim HS. Impact of the mother–nurse partnership programme on mother and infant outcomes in paediatric cardiac intensive care unit. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing. 2019;50:79-87.
34.Jafari Mianaei S, Alaei Karahroudi F, Rasouli M. Study of the impacts of rehabilitation program on mothers with premature hospitalized infants. Education and Ethics in Nursing. 2012;1(1):2-37.
35.Shin Y, Lim JH, Kim G. Effects of maternal empowerment program on stress, anxiety, depression and parenting confidence in mothers of preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. Child Health Nursing Research. 2018;24(2):252-61.
How to Cite
Seyedrasooli A, Malakouti J, Jabraeili M, Heykalabadi S, Ghogazadeh M. The effect of the supportive program on the anxiety of mothers of infants with gastrointestinal anomalies. NPT. 7(2):106-113.
Original Article(s)