Document Type




Publication Date



National Association of Neonatal Nurses

Source Publication

Advances in Neonatal Care

Source ISSN




Parents at risk for preterm birth frequently receive prematurity education when the mother is hospitalized for premature labor. Parental ability to learn and consider the information is limited because of the stress of the hospitalization. A promising approach is dissemination of information to at-risk parents before the birth hospitalization.


This article describes formative research used to develop smartphone-based prematurity education app for parents at-risk for preterm birth.


Stakeholders were parents with a prior preterm birth. Using stakeholder meeting transcripts, constant comparative analysis was used to reflect upon the parental voice.


The parents named the app, Preemie Prep for Parents (P3). Parent perspectives revealed desire for information in the following 5 categories. (1) Power in knowledge and control: parents want autonomy when learning information that may influence medical decision-making. (2) Content and framing of information: they desire information from a trusted resource that helps promote prenatal health and provides neonatal intensive care information. (3) Displaying content: parents want personalization, push notifications, photographs displaying fetal development, and easy-to-understand statistics. (4) Providing information without causing harm: they desire non–value-laden information, and they do not support “gamifying” the app to enhance utilization. (5) Decision making: parents want information that would benefit their decision making without assuming that parents have a certain outlook on life or particular values.

Implications for Practice:

These findings support the need for the P3 App to aid in decision making when parents experience preterm birth.

Implications for Research:

The findings highlight the need to study the effects of smartphone-based prematurity education on medical decision-making.


Accepted version. Advances in Neonatal Care, Vol. 20, No. 1 (February 2020): E9-E16. DOI. © 2020 National Association of Neonatal Nurses. Used with permission.

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