In February 2010, the first meeting with the SCENE (Separation and Closeness Experiences in the Neonatal Environment) group was held, although we had not constituted ourselves as a group at that time. The goal for the first meeting was to define common research interests for future collaboration.
This multi-disciplinary group of researchers from Belgium, England, Finland, Italy, Norway and Sweden now constitutes the Steering Group. Since 2010, the SCENE group has expanded and now comprises researchers and clinical staff with different professions in Europe (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, England, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuenia and Estonia), Australia, Canada, USA, and South-Africa. All members of SCENE participate in conducting studies as part of, or closely linked to, the SCENE programme of work.
There are large and systematic differences related to cultural and contextual issues, such as parental involvement, family-centred care and staff practices that might influence these differences, which emphasize the need for more exploratory work. Hence, we need to understand the key influences in neonatal care on separation (physical and emotional) versus closeness (physical and emotional) between infant- parents and the potential effects of separation/closeness for the infants and the parents.
- to seek empirical evidence for why parent-infant physical and emotional closeness varies in neonatal units, within and between countries in Europe;
- the short- and long-term effects of experienced closeness/separation on infants, parents and the infant-parent dyad;
- to identify, construct, implement and evaluate best practice guidelines in supporting physical and emotional closeness during neonatal care.