Parental satisfaction with the quality of care in a South African paediatric intensive care unit

C Mol, A C Argent, B Morrow


Background. The quality of family-centred care in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) has been poorly studied in South Africa (SA). 

Objective. To explore parents’ satisfaction with care in a PICU in SA. 

Methods. A prospective descriptive survey study was conducted among a convenience sample of 100 parents of children admitted to the PICU for ≥48 hours. Participants completed the EMpowerment of PArents in THe Intensive Care (EMPATHIC-30) questionnaire, which includes 30 closed questions rating satisfaction in different domains and four open-ended questions to qualitatively describe PICU experiences. 

Results. Of the 100 admissions included in the study, 35% were unplanned and 88% were mechanically ventilated. Parents were very satisfied with the quality of PICU care, with mean scores in all domains reaching ≥5.5 on a 6-point Likert scale. Parents were most satisfied with the professional attitude of PICU staff, whereas the lowest scores were seen in the ‘Information’ and ‘Parental participation’ domains. The internal consistency (Cronbach’s α) associated with the different domains ranged between 0.25 (Parental participation) and 0.59 (Care and cure). The need for communication and support during the admission period, and the importance of environmental factors, proximity to the child, the attitude of medical staff and social support during the PICU stay emerged as common themes from the responses to the open-ended questions. 

Conclusion. Although parents were generally well satisfied with the quality of care, improving family involvement and providing adequate information in the PICU can contribute to quality family-centred care. 

Keywords. Family- centered care; patient- centered care; paediatric intensive care unit; quality of care

Authors' affiliations

C Mol, Department of Paediatrics, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands

A C Argent, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

B Morrow, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

Southern African Journal of Critical Care 2018;34(2):51-58. DOI:10.7196/SAJCC.2018.v34i2.366

Article History

Date submitted: 2018-11-08
Date published: 2018-11-08

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