Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
Corresponding author: Kristina Ann Betters, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University, Doctors Office Tower 5114, 2200 Children’s Way, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA. Tel.: +1 615 8751651; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: PURPOSE:Early mobility (EM) and patient communication have known benefits for critically ill patients, but perceived barriers exist, notably related to family and caregiver concerns. Caregiver perceptions of an EM and communication therapy protocol in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) were assessed. METHODS:Caregivers of PICU patients at a free-standing academic children’s hospital completed a survey using a Likert-type agreement scale on their perceptions surrounding the safety of EM, benefits of EM and communication, and barriers to EM and communication services. RESULTS:Forty caregivers completed the survey. Most agreed or strongly agreed that EM helped their child get stronger (76%), improved their child’s mood (57%), helped them to be involved in their child’s care (86%), and improved their child’s overall experience (78%). Most disagreed with statements relating to EM causing fear or pain (57%). Caregivers agreed that communication therapy improved overall ICU experience (75%). Free-text comments emphasized meaningful relationships with rehabilitation and unit staff. CONCLUSION:Caregivers perceived EM and communication interventions as enriching to their child’s ICU experience and the majority did not perceive that EM caused fear or pain.
Keywords: Early mobility, PICU, barriers, communication, physical therapy