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The Experience of Long-Stay Parents in the ICU: A Qualitative Study of Parent and Staff Perspectives

Geoghegan, S; Oulton, K; Bull, C; Brierley, J; Peters, M; Wray, J; (2016) The Experience of Long-Stay Parents in the ICU: A Qualitative Study of Parent and Staff Perspectives. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine , 17 (11) e496-e501. 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000949. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Meeting the needs of parents of critically ill children is increasingly being recognized as an important factor in the child's clinical outcome as well as the implications it has for future parenting. Little is specifically known about the experience of parents who have a child in the ICU for a prolonged period. Our objective was to understand the experiences of this group to assist in the identification of mechanisms for providing support. DESIGN: Qualitative study based on semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed using the Framework approach. SETTING: The study took place in a tertiary pediatric hospital containing three ICUs: PICU, cardiac ICU, and neonatal ICU (ICU will be used to encompass neonatal ICU, cardiac ICU, and PICU for the remainder of the article). SUBJECTS: Seventeen members of staff and 26 parents of a child who had a long stay in one of the three ICUs. INTERVENTIONS: Semistructured, tape-recorded interviews. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Analyses identified two overarching themes, "parent process" and "parent/staff interface," and six subthemes: adjustment, normalization/institutionalization, conflict, involvement in child's care, individualized care, and transition. Themes have been modeled to account for the parental process during a long stay in the ICU and the potential implications for the relationships and interactions between parents and staff. Findings are presented from the data related to the parent process and parent/staff interface. Inclusion of an element in the model related to staff indicates where support mechanisms should be focused. CONCLUSIONS: Over time, long-stay families will likely become more familiar with the environment of the ICU, more knowledgeable about their child's medical needs and more familiar with the staff looking after their child. This has a number of implications for staff working in the ICU.

Type: Article
Title: The Experience of Long-Stay Parents in the ICU: A Qualitative Study of Parent and Staff Perspectives
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000949
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PCC.0000000000000949
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: families; long stay; staff; qualitative
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH Infect, Imm, Infla. and Physio Med
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1516716
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