Caring for the sick newborns in nurseries in a developing setting: Evaluation of the psychosocial burden on caregivers

Thumbnail Image
File version

Version of Record (VoR)

Ekwochi, Uchenna
Asinobi, Isaac N
Ifediora, Christian
Ndu, Ikenna K
Onah, Stanley Kenechukwu
Amadi, Ogechukwu F
Osuorah, Chidiebere D
Griffith University Author(s)
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
File type(s)

Background: Caring for the sick newborn in a developing setting is very challenging. Apart from the medical facilities and expertise of the medical team, other factors such as the ability of the caregiver to adapt to the financial, economic, and psychosocial demands associated with the illness process also determine survival. This study explored the psychosocial burden of caregivers and its related factors in a developing setting. Methodology: This cross-sectional and analytical study was carried out prospectively over an 18-month period at the Special Care Baby Unit of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital. Caregivers who consented were consecutively enrolled. IBM SPSS version 20 was used for data analysis and statistical significance was set at P ≤ 0.05. Results: There was a wide range of psychosocial burden experienced by caregivers during the admission period of the sick newborn. The most common encountered psychological burden included catastrophic economic sacrifice because of baby's ill health (40.0%), worry about not giving the baby the best care (39.7%), feeling of loneliness and isolation (39.5%), tiredness and constant feeling of been worn out (34.6%), and limitation on one's own social life (32.8%). Several factors such as place of birth, educational level of the caregiver, previous preterm baby in the family, length of stay in hospital, number of additional children to look after, and the birth weight of the baby were predictive factors of degree of psychosocial burden faced by caregivers. Conclusion: Caregivers of sick newborn experience significant levels of psychological burden with considerate impact on the care and outcome of newborns. Comprehensive sick newborn care should envisage and incorporate the management of different domains of stressors among caregivers.

Journal Title

Journal of Clinical Neonatology

Conference Title
Book Title




Thesis Type
Degree Program
Publisher link
Patent number
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
Rights Statement

© 2020 Journal of Clinical Neonatology. Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‑NonCommercial‑ShareAlike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non‑commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

Item Access Status
Access the data
Related item(s)




Science & Technology

Life Sciences & Biomedicine



developing setting

Persistent link to this record

Ekwochi, U; Asinobi, IN; Ifediora, C; Ndu, IK; Onah, SK; Amadi, OF; Osuorah, CD, Caring for the sick newborns in nurseries in a developing setting: Evaluation of the psychosocial burden on caregivers, Journal of Clinical Neonatology, 2020, 9 (1), pp. 69-76