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Implementing the family-centered care model, parents’ satisfaction and experiences in neonatology


The quality of family-centered care (FCC) in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is often assessed through Parental satisfaction (PS). Empathic-N, a validated questionnaire to evaluate PS in NICU, was recently developed in the Netherlands [1].To our knowledge similar instruments have not yet been used in Italy. The aim of this project is to translate the 57-item Empathic-N questionnaire and to develop and adapted Italian version for post-NICU (Empathic-SN) taking the Italian cultural adaptation into account, and to test their psychometric validity.

Materials and methods

The translation process followed a structured method including forward and backward translation [2].

The psychometric validation of both the Empathic-N and the Empathic-SN questionnaires is being performed by administering the questionnaires to parents of newborns discharged from 9 NICUs and post-NICUs across Italy.

Ethical approval is granted by the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital. Written informed consent forms are collected.


150 questionnaires from NICU and 150 from post-NICU are being collected. Preliminary analyses showed a positive correlation between the questionnaire items and the overall satisfaction indicators. Reached scores ranged from 4.1 to 5.9 for the Empathic-N and from 4.2 to 5.7 for the Empathic-SN, on a 1-to-6 Likert scale. Results from Cronbach’s alpha coefficients attested the reliability of the scale. Thematic analysis of the open answers identified 385 quotations, coded into seven major themes, expressing parents’ experiences. Generally, a good overall parents’ satisfaction is showed. Further descriptive statistical analysis will be performed on the complete sample.


Validity and reliability of the Italian version of the questionnaires assessed by psychometric testing is expected. The Empathic-N and Empathic-SN questionnaires, or their further versions, would constitute important tools to assess the actual quality of FCC in Italian NICUs and post-NICUs and to set the baseline for improvement interventions.


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The Italian Empathic-N Study Group, was as follows: Luca Di Sarra, Catholic University of Rome; Gina Ancora, Sandra Lazzari, Hospital of Rimini; Marilena Galeazzo, Elisabetta Lolli, University Hospital of Padova; Enrica Lupo, Mariella Frongia, Buzzi Children’s Hospital, Milan; Silvia Prunecchi, Meyer Children’s Hospital of Florence; Angela Ragni, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital IRCCS Rome, Rosanna Bruno, Antonella Raimondi, San Carlo Hospital, Potenza; Liliana Vagliano, Serena Rovei, Sant’Anna University Hospital, Turin; Loredana Bonafede, Anna Marotta, San Eugenio Hospital, Rome.

The contribution of the Centre of Excellence for Nursing Scholarship for the funding to this project is acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Immacolata Dall’Oglio.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Dall’Oglio, I., Portanova, A., Fiori, M. et al. Implementing the family-centered care model, parents’ satisfaction and experiences in neonatology. Ital J Pediatr 40 (Suppl 2), A47 (2014).

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