Objective Neonatal recommendations include medical follow-up, metabolic screening, vitamin K, eye drops/ointment, and vaccinations. Most but not all parents follow these recommendations. This study aimed to characterise the non-compliant mothers in order to understand the reasons behind that non-compliance.
Study design All mothers who refused any routine treatment of their infant or who asked for early discharge of their infant were included. They filled-in a questionnaire on socioeconomic items, previous births and those children’s health status, current pregnancy and delivery, and their beliefs.
Result Three non-compliant subgroups emerged according to the responses: Muslim mothers requesting early discharge to care for children at home, Jewish mothers requesting early discharge because they disliked hospital environment, Sabbath/holiday, and children at home, and Jewish mothers who rejected guidelines because they believed the treatments were unnecessary or possibly harmful to their infants.
Conclusion Several interventions to enhance maternal compliance to medical recommendations are proposed, including more education, better quality of patient-staff interaction, understanding and encouraging social support, and awareness of patient’s beliefs and attitudes, as well as renovation of the maternity department’s physical structure, to make the stay more pleasant (quieter, more privacy), and to also make it possible to properly celebrate the Sabbath as well as holidays on the ward itself. Regarding the Islamic and Jewish mothers who asked for early discharge because of the other children at home, maybe we should try to understand the exact reason for this – perhaps the father works far away from home and there is nobody else to guard these children; and then we may be able to help these families find a better solution.