Background Parents often feel overwhelmed after the birth of a premature baby. Fear, uncertainty and lack of knowledge in handling the premature baby affect the parent-child interaction negatively. These consequences lead to additional health costs. COPE, an existing evidence-based educational program to strengthen parental competencies can reduce the negative consequences for both the parents of premature babies and the health care system.
Aim The implementation of an appropriate educational program to strengthen parental competencies within the Swiss context.
Methods Action research served as method for project implementation. An as-is analysis was accomplished, negotiations to acquire program license and to produce the program in German were conducted and an implementation concept was developed.
Results The as-is analysis showed that parents are well informed about the care of their child upon hospital discharge. 36% of them still feel uncertain about the assumption of parental responsibilities after leaving the hospital. The nursing staff recommends a well-structured educational program for parents. COPE showed a significant decline of parental fear, an improvement of the parent-child interaction and a reduction of length of hospital stay within the US. Based on the as-is analysis and the existing evidence COPE was identified as an appropriate educational program for parents of prematures in Switzerland. The license for the program was acquired and the translation into German was conducted.
Conclusions COPE was successfully implemented in Berne. The cooperation took place in the spirit of clinical leadership and promoted mutual learning and interprofessional acceptance. An evaluation of COPE is planed.