Journal of Qualitative Research in Health Sciences

Document Type : Original Article


1 Student Research Center, occupational therapy, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

2 Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

3 Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Besat Hospital. Hamadan, Iran

4 University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran Hearing Impairment Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran. 0000-0001-6023-8780



Introduction: The admission of an infant to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has the potential to increase the mother’s anxiety and stress. Mothers spend long hours and sometimes days nonstop at their infant’s bedside. The present study aimed to explore the lived experiences of mothers about the factors affecting their sleep in the NICU.
Methods: This qualitative study was conducted using directed content analysis on 16 mothers in the NICU at Fatemieh Hospital affiliated with Hamadan University of Medical Sciences in 2023. The participants were selected using purposive sampling. The data in this study were collected through semi-structured interviews. The content of the interviews was recorded, transcribed, codified, and analyzed using Colaizzi’s method of data analysis.
Results: The analysis of the data revealed 168 primary codes, 19 subcategories, and 8 main categories. The main themes extracted from the mothers’ sleep experiences were individual factors (physical and psychological factors and adaptation to the conditions), environmental factors (physical, social, and economic factors), and occupation (daily activities and duties).
Conclusion: Individual and environmental factors and employment are effective in the sleep of mothers in the NICU. These findings enhance our understanding of mothers’ sleep experiences and highlight the importance of addressing these factors in preventing and treating sleep disorders in mothers of newborns in research and clinical practice.