Knowledge, confidence, and educational needs of newborn care among North Korean refugee women: a descriptive study

  • Lee, In-Sook (Department of Nursing, Hannam University)
  • Received : 2022.11.13
  • Accepted : 2022.12.30
  • Published : 2023.01.31


Purpose: North Korean refugee women struggle with the double burden of adaptation and parenting as mothers in a new environment. This study aimed to identify the knowledge, confidence, and educational needs regarding newborn care among North Korean refugees, and to determine differences between these variables according to participants' characteristics. Methods: Data were collected from September to October 2022, and 150 North Korean refugee women recruited using convenience sampling participated in the study. Descriptive statistics, the t-test, analysis of variance, and Pearson correlation analysis were used for data analysis. Results: The mean scores were as follows: parenting knowledge, 14.97 out of 25; infection prevention knowledge and confidence, 20.09 out of 33 and 51.37 out of 80, respectively; and educational needs, 245.86 out of 310. Significant differences were observed in newborn care, knowledge, and confidence according to maternal age, educational level, family structure, and pregnancy history. Significant positive correlations were observed between the participants' newborn care knowledge, confidence, and educational needs. Conclusion: Personalized educational programs should be implemented to enhance North Korean refugee women's confidence in newborn care, focusing on areas with low knowledge levels and high educational needs and enabling women to achieve healthy pregnancy and childbirth, and to parent well.



This study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (No. NRF-2022R1H1A2005288).


  1. Ministry of Unification. The number of North Korea refugees entering South Korea, as of the end of June, 2022 [Internet]. Seoul: Ministry of Unification; 2022 [cited 2022 October 30]. Available from:
  2. Lee IS, Park HR, Park HJ, Park YH. Relationships between parenting behavior, parenting efficacy, adaptation stress and post traumatic stress disorder among mothers who defected from North Korean. Journal of Korean Academy of Child Health Nursing. 2010;16(4):360-368.
  3. Lee IS, Jeon JH. Influence of hardiness, mother-child interactions, and social support on parenting stress among North Korean refugee mothers: a cross-sectional study. Child Health Nursing Research. 2022;28(4):269-279.
  4. Lee YJ, Park CH, Kim MJ. A study on support for early children of North Korean defector families for reducing the social gap. Seoul: Korea Institute of Child Care and Education; 2021 Dec. Report No.: 2021-19.
  5. Ha YJ, Kim SW. Improving the educational experience of North Korean defectors through revising educational materials used in Hanawon: focusing on pregnancy and childbirth. Design Research. 2022;7(1):325-337.
  6. Na DM, Oh MY, Lee KO. Study on the relationship between primiparas' knowledge and self-confidence for caring the baby during puerperium. The Medical Journal of Chosun University. 2000; 25(1):78-86.
  7. Yadav SP, Saund M, Thakur J, Yadav P, Yadav S, Shah GS. Knowledge, attitude and practices on the care of the newborn in postnatal mothers delivering at a tertiary care centre in Nepal. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health. 2016;45(3):189-192.
  8. Bornstein MH, Yu J, Putnick DL. Mothers' parenting knowledge and its sources in five societies: specificity in and across Argentina, Belgium, Italy, South Korea, and the United States. International Journal of Behavioral Development. 2020;44(2):135-145.
  9. Kim NS. A Study of first-time fathers on their knowledge and confidence in newborn. Journal of Digital Convergence. 2016;14(8):537-545.
  10. Nomaguchi K, Milkie MA. Parenthood and well-being: a decade in review. Journal of Marriage and Family. 2020;82(1):198-223.
  11. Park H, Park M, Chun Y. A study on education needs related to prenatal care programs in married immigrant women. Journal of the Korea Academia-Industrial cooperation Society. 2015;16(7):4632-4640.
  12. Saifee J, Franco-Paredes C, Lowenstein SR. Refugee health during COVID-19 and future pandemics. Current Tropical Medicine Reports. 2021;8(3):1-4.
  13. Bader LR, Ward J, Fouts HN, Jaekel J. Infant care practices among resettled refugee mothers from East and Central Africa. Children. 2020;7(6):63.
  14. Han IJ. A study on mother's educational needs about neonatal cares [master's thesis]. Jeonju: Chonbuk National University; 2003. p. 1-73.
  15. Korukcu O, Aydin R, Conway J, Kukulu K. Motherhood in the shade of migration: a qualitative study of the experience of Syrian refugee mothers living in Turkey. Nursing & Health Sciences. 2018;20(1):46-53.
  16. Chan SCH, Wan CLJ, Ko S. Interactivity, active collaborative learning, and learning performance: the moderating role of perceived fun by using personal response systems. The International Journal of Management Education. 2019;17(1):94-102.
  17. Dai L, Shen Q, Redding SR, Ouyang YQ. Simulation-based childbirth education for Chinese primiparas: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Patient Education and Counseling. 2021;104(9):2266-2274.
  18. Lee NY. The educational needs analysis on child health care education for multicultural mothers. Journal of the Korea Academia-Industrial cooperation Society. 2018;19(5):190-198.
  19. Bae JH, Park JS. The trend of domestic research on the pregnancy and childbirth of married immigrant women. Journal of the Korea Academia-Industrial cooperation Society. 2018;19(3):278-290.
  20. Jeon MS, Kang KJ, Park SH. A study on pregnancy, delivery, and infant rearing knowledge and educational need of marriage immigrant women. Journal of Agricultural Medicine and Community Health. 2011;36(3):179-190.
  21. Cuschieri S. The STROBE guidelines. Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia. 2019;13(Suppl 1):S31-S34.
  22. Kim MY, Kim GS, Kim S, Lee HJ. Participation in prenatal education, knowledge and attitude related to delivery, postpartum care, newborn care in nulliparous women. Korean Journal of Women Health Nursing. 2016;22(3):139-150.
  23. Lee YE, Oh E. Knowledge and education demand toward newborn care in multi-cultural mothers. Journal of the Korean Society of Maternal and Child Health. 2015;19(1):47-57.
  24. Lee DW, Kwon IS. Knowledge and practice of infection prevention by mothers of young children. Journal of Korean Academy of Child Health Nursing. 2009;15(3):306-313.
  25. Seo J, Kim EY. Effects of an infection prevention education program in infant and child for married immigrant Vietnamese women. Korean Journal of Adult Nursing. 2013;25(4):422-431.
  26. An HS, Bang KS. Effects of newborn care education for first-time fathers on their knowledge and confidence in newborn care at postpartum one month. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing. 2014;44(4):428-436.
  27. Komakech H, Lubogo D, Nabiwemba E, Orach CG. Essential newborn care practices and determinants amongst mothers of infants aged 0-6 months in refugee settlements, Adjumani district, west Nile, Uganda. PLoS One. 2020;15(4):e0231970.
  28. Jeon JH, Lee IS. Health literacy, drug knowledge, and drug misuse behaviors among North Korean refugees. Journal of Forensic Nursing. 2020;16(1):E3-E11.
  29. Chung SS, Joung KH. Comparative study on predictors of maternal confidence between primipara and multipara. Journal of Korean Academy of Child Health Nursing. 2011;17(3):181-189.
  30. Ha JY, Kim YJ. Factors influencing self-confidence in the maternal role among early postpartum mothers. Korean Journal of Women Health Nursing. 2013;19(1):48-56.
  31. Lee IS, Jeon JH. Influence of parenting efficacy, parenting stress, and acculturation stress on parent-child relations among North Korean refugee mothers. Child Health Nursing Research. 2021;27(2):171-180.
  32. Bang EJ. A relationship between parenting stress, parenting knowledge, and parenting self-efficacy of mother with infant. Educational Theory and Practice for Infants and Young Children. 2018;3(2):61-81.