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Yoga in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for parents: a needs assessment and acceptability study
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  • Sara Neches,
  • Krystle Perez,
  • Mihai Puia-Dumitrescu,
  • Dennis Mayock,
  • Rachel Umoren,
  • Sandra Juul
Sara Neches
University of Washington

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Krystle Perez
University of Washington
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Mihai Puia-Dumitrescu
Seattle Children's Hospital
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Dennis Mayock
University of Washington
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Rachel Umoren
University of Washington
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Sandra Juul
University of Washington
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Abstract

Aim: To explore NICU parent and staff attitudes towards yoga for parents as a stress reduction intervention and determine the acceptability of an online yoga curriculum. Methods: A 13-item survey on yoga for parents was emailed to clinical and non-clinical staff at two level IV NICUs. Another 40-item survey was distributed to parents via linked QR code in both units. Results were used to determine feasibility of a 6-week online yoga curriculum for NICU parents. Results: 54 parent and 140 staff surveys were completed between Jan 2021-Mar 2022. Many NICU parents self-reported stress (n=40, 74%) and anxiety (n=35, 64%). Thirty-seven (68%) parents had practiced yoga and 13% used yoga as a coping strategy. A total of 114 (81%) staff members practiced yoga and thought yoga decreased stress (n=125, 89%) and anxiety (n=100, 71%). Most responders (97%) with any experience with yoga supported a yoga intervention for parents. 71% of parents supported online classes. Identified barriers from staff included liability (n=28, 20%), cost (n=30, 21%) and safety (n=44, 31%). Parents cited stress (n=1,17%), lack of time (n=2, 33%) and inexperience (n=1,17%) as barriers. Conclusion: Online yoga classes may be an innovative approach to address parental stress and anxiety during NICU hospitalization.