J Korean Acad Nurs.  2017 Apr;47(2):277-288. 10.4040/jkan.2017.47.2.277.

Experience of Becoming a Father of a High Risk Premature Infant

  • 1Department of Nursing, Uiduk University, Gyeongju, Korea.
  • 2College of Nursing, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea. lbs@gw.kmu.ac.kr


This study was performed to identify the experience of becoming a father of a high risk premature infant.
Grounded theory was used for this research. The participants were 12 fathers who had premature infants lighter than 2,500g of birth weight, less than 37 weeks of gestational age and having stayed 2 weeks or longer in a NICU right after birth. Theoretical sampling was done to identify participants and indepth interviews were done for the data collection. For data analysis, the process suggested by Corbin and Strauss was used.
For these participants the core phenomenon of the experience of becoming a father of a high risk premature infant was "˜striving through with belief and patience'. The phenomenon was "˜being frustrated in an unrealistic shock'. Contextual conditions were "˜uncertainty in the health status of the premature baby' and "˜no one to ask for help' and intervening conditions were "˜possibility in the health recovery of the premature baby' and "˜assistance from significant others'. Action/interaction strategies were "˜withstanding with belief in the baby' and "˜enduring with willpower as head of the family' and the consequence was "˜becoming a guardian of the family'.
For the participants, the process of becoming the father of a high risk premature infant was striving through the situation with belief in their babies' ability to overcome the crisis and waiting for the babies' recovery with patience.


Premature infant; Father; life experience; Qualitative research

MeSH Terms

Adaptation, Psychological
Father-Child Relations
Gestational Age
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature
Interviews as Topic
Premature Birth
Self Efficacy
Social Support


  • Figure 1 The process of the ‘Becoming a father of a high risk premature infant’.


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