This five year study, Improving Family Outcomes with a Communication Intervention in the Pediatric ICU, seeks to evaluate how well a facilitated communication and support intervention helps families manage the stress of having their child in the Intensive Care Unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital. This hospital serves a culturally and linguistically diverse population and draws from a five-state region. Approximately 220 families will be randomized to either the usual care group, which includes services by members of the hospital’s multidisciplinary palliative care team or to intervention group which will receive the usual services plus up to 3 scheduled weekly care conferences with the ICU team facilitated by a study team member and weekly follow-up by a study team member. Measures assessing family members' health, social support, perceptions of ICU physicians and nurses caring for the seriously ill child, and demographic information will be administered at three time points: time of study enrollment, when the child leaves the ICU, and 3 months after enrollment. Also, qualitative interviews will be conducted with a sub-sample of families as well as members of the healthcare team to assess processes of communication and experiences of care coordination and communication during hospital stay. The overall aim is to inform the delivery of palliative care in PICUs and enhance the provision of appropriate support and communication to mitigate the stresses experienced by families of children hospitalized in ICUs.

National Institute of Nursing Research
Principal Investigator(s): 
Other Names: 
Ross Hays