Virtual visitation in the NICU: A scoping literature review

Melissa M. Dunham, Terri Marin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: This scoping literature review aims to identify how virtual visitation (VV) is currently being used in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with a specific focus on the experiences and perceptions of parents and neonatal nurses, as well as research gaps. Method: Guided by the Joanna Briggs Institute method for conducting a scoping literature review, the PubMed, CINAHL, and Web of Science databases were utilized to identify articles answering the research questions. Gray literature was also identified through ProQuest, and the home websites of the two largest commercial virtual visitation vendors were explored for additional relevant information. Results: Following a comprehensive search, 12 articles were identified for inclusion in this scoping literature review. Overall, parents report positive experiences with VV, welcoming this technology in connecting to their infant. The experiences and perceptions of NICU nurses regarding the addition of VV to their practice environment are generally negative. With a paucity of research exploring the questions guiding this scoping review, research gaps are evident. Conclusion: Virtual visitation in the NICU aids in connecting parents to their hospitalized infants. However, published literature reveals significant differences in the experiences and perceptions of parents and neonatal nurses for the use of VV in the NICU. Further research is warranted to understand the impact of VV in this specialized environment fully.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-9
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neonatal Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • NICU
  • Virtual visitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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