Mixed Research Synthesis of Stress in Mothers of Preterm Infants

Posted on November 21, 2017 by


The current featured ANS article is titled “Posttraumatic Stress in Mothers While Their Preterm Infants Are in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit: A Mixed Research Synthesis” by Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN and Jennifer Woynar, BSN, RN.  The article is available to download at no cost while it is featured on the ANS site!  Here are messages from each of the authors about their work:

Cheryl Beck:

In my qualitative program of research on traumatic childbirth, mothers have repeatedly shared how traumatic giving birth

Cheryl Tatano Beck

prematurely was. Their posttraumatic stress did not stop after giving birth but continued as their fragile infants were now in the NICU fighting for their lives.  I wanted to get a handle on just how pervasive mothers’ posttraumatic stress is while their infants are in the NICU. I decided to synthesize all the published literature I could locate- qualitative studies, quantitative studies, and mixed methods studies. In order to integrate these qualitative and quantitative findings in a single systematic review, I chose to do a mixed research synthesis. In the past I have published metasyntheses and meta-analyses but never a mixed research synthesis.  I wanted to try my hand at this type of literature review. Another reason I had for conducting this mixed research synthesis was that in teaching my PhD students I love to provide them with my own concrete examples of research that I have done to help them understand the various methods.  Over the semester I conducted this mixed research synthesis I was fortunate to have Jennifer Woynar, my wonderful co-author, as my graduate assistant. This opportunity provided Jen with hands on experience with doing this type of research synthesis which can enhance the breadth and depth of understanding complex problems or phenomena.

Jennifer Woynar

Jennifer Woynar:

As a first-year BSN-PhD student, I was excited to embark on this mixed research synthesis adventure with Dr. Beck. The connection between the qualitative and quantitative data provided me, as the reader, with both the emotional journey of mothers with preterm infants, as well as interventional studies to build on that data.  Rating the articles based on the CASP scores was engaging and I felt supported in discussing and resolving any incongruences with these ratings.  Overall this was a very meaningful experience and I hope that the reader enjoys this work.