Communication in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) between families and the health care team affects the family experience, caregiver psychological morbidity, and patient outcomes.
To test the feasibility of studying and implementing a PICU communication intervention called PICU Supports, and to assess families’ and health care teams’ perceptions of the intervention.
This study involved patients requiring more than 24 hours of PICU care. An interventionist trained in PICU-focused health care navigation, a “navigator,” met with parents and the health care team to discuss communication, decision-making, emotional, informational, and discharge or end-of-life care needs; offered weekly family meetings; and checked in with parents after PICU discharge. The feasibility of implementing the intervention was assessed by tracking navigator activities. Health care team and family perceptions were assessed using surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
Of 53 families approached about the study, 35 (66%) agreed to participate. The navigator met with parents on 71% and the health care team on 85% of possible weekdays, and completed 86% of the postdischarge check-ins. Family meetings were offered to 95% of eligible patients. The intervention was rated as helpful by 97% of parents, and comments during interviews were positive.
The PICU Supports intervention is feasible to implement and study and is viewed favorably by parents.