Parental experience of neonatal pain research while participating in the Parental touch trial (Petal).
van der Vaart M., Hauck AGV., Mansfield R., Adams E., Bhatt A., Cobo MM., Crankshaw D., Dhami A., Hartley C., Monk V., Evans Fry R., Moultrie F., Robinson S., Yong J., Poorun R., Baxter L., Slater R.
Parental involvement in neonatal comfort care is a core component of family-centred care. Yet, parents experience a range of positive and negative feelings when providing pain-relieving interventions for their infants. Parents of infants who participated in the Parental touch trial (Petal), a multicentre randomised controlled trial investigating the impact of gentle parental touch on neonatal pain, were asked to complete an anonymous survey. This survey aimed to (1) explore parent-reported motivations in deciding to participate in the Petal trial; (2) understand parent-reported experiences related to trial participation; (3) understand parents' willingness to participate in future studies; and (4) evaluate parent-reported feelings while they were delivering a gentle touch intervention either before or after a clinically necessary blood test. One hundred six parents (1 parent per infant) took part in the survey. Primary motivators for participation were altruistic. Parents most frequently reported that they wanted their child to take part in the research because it has a potential benefit to babies in the future and because they wanted to improve scientific understanding. Parents reported that providing gentle touch to their children during painful procedures was associated with positive emotions, such as feeling "useful" (64%) and "reassured" (53%). Furthermore, nearly all parents (98%) were pleased to have participated in the Petal trial and would consider, or maybe consider, participating in further research studies. These results underscore the importance of structuring trials around parental involvement and providing opportunities for parents to be involved in providing comfort to their infants during necessary painful clinical procedures.