To identify parental concerns when a child is suddenly admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit, 17 parents often critically ill children were interviewed using a structured format between 20 and 36 hours after admission about their concerns around the time of admission and at the time of interview using the Parental Concerns Scale. The individual concern items receiving the highest ratings were the child’s survival, the possibility of mental or physical impairment, the child’s diagnosis, and the amount of pain experienced by the child. Total concern scores decreased over time for both mothers and fathers when the child’s prognosis was good and, for mothers only, when the child had an infectious illness rather than accidental injuries. Implications for nursing practice are discussed

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