Validation of a care model in neonatal intensive care units: A mixed method study

Betina Heyns, Charlené Downing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The research aimed to validate the Adapted Theory of Health Promotion (ATHP) in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). It explored the ATHP's practice readiness and yielded recommendations for future practice. Background: The population in the NICU is vulnerable and dependent. The method by which they are cared for is of the utmost importance as it contributes to the infant's health status and outcome. Methods: An explanatory, sequential, three-phased, mixed-method research design was used in this study. The e-Delphi technique was applied in the quantitative phase, while the qualitative phase invited participants to take part in an electronic focus group. Analysed data from both phases were integrated, forming the third phase. Results: Analysis revealed that the ATHP is more desirable than feasible. Consensus was achieved on 68% of the model. The average rating at the end of round three was 100% positive for desirability, and 90% positive for feasibility. The focus group revealed the main themes of an “ideal” situation versus “reality”. Conclusion: The ATHP was validated by experts. Concern was raised about the model's feasibility in the current NICU context, and participants offered recommendations to improve the model's practice readiness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neonatal Nursing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Mixed-method study
  • Model of care
  • Neonatal nursing
  • Neonatal nursing model
  • e-Delphi technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Maternity and Midwifery


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