What topics should we teach the parents of admitted neonates in the newborn care unit in the resource-limited setting – a Delphi study

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In resource-limited settings, such as Rwanda, health care profession (HCP) to neonate ratios are low, and therefore caregivers play a significant role in providing care for their admitted neonates. To provide such Family Integrated Care, caregivers need knowledge, skills, and confidence. The objective of this study was to identify consensus from key stakeholders regarding the priority topics for a “parental neonatal curriculum.”


A three-round Delphi-study was conducted. During Round-1, face-to-face interviews were undertaken and responses coded and categorized into themes. In Round-2, participants were presented with Round-1 feedback and asked to provide additional topics in respective themes. In Round-3, respondents were asked to rank the importance of these items using a 9-point Likert scale.


Ten, 36 and 40 stakeholders participated in Rounds-1, − 2 and − 3 respectively, including parents, midwives, nurses and physicians. Twenty and 37 education topics were identified in Rounds-1 and -2 respectively. In Round-3 47 of the 57 presented outcomes met pre-defined criteria for inclusion in the “parental neonatal curriculum.”


We describe a “parental neonatal curriculum,” formed using robust consensus methods, describing the core topics required to educate parents of neonates admitted to a newborn care unit. The curriculum has been developed in Rwanda and is relevant to other resource-limited settings.

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