This article explores the concepts 'information behaviour' and 'illness trajectory' at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). On the basis of literature review and exploratory interviews with neonatologists and head nurses of Belgian NICUs a conceptual framework is presented. The 'information behaviour' of parents of infants admitted to a NICU is analytically divided into five dimensions: ways of getting information; interpersonal information sources; time-related issues; location of information transfer; and content of information. The conceptual framework equally takes the 'illness trajectory' into account. Following Corbin and Strauss the illness trajectory at a NICU is analysed in three sub-trajectories: disease course; healthcare trajectory; and sickness trajectory. By combining the respective categories of information behaviour and illness trajectory, an analytical tool is presented under the form of a classification matrix for scrutinizing the mediating role of the illness trajectory on the information behaviour of parents of infants admitted to a NICU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-77
Number of pages23
JournalHealth
Volume15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

    Research areas

  • Access to information, Communication, Illness trajectory, Information behavior, Intensive care units, neonatal

ID: 2080415