Implementation of paediatric intensive care unit diaries: Feasibility and opinions of parents and healthcare providers

Published:March 16, 2022DOI:



      The implementation of paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) diaries has been reported as feasible in routine care. To date no feasibility study has compared PICU healthcare providers’ (HCPs) and parents’ opinions on this tool.


      The aim of this study is to describe the feasibility and perception of PICU diaries in an Italian PICU from the point of view of parents and HCPs.


      This is a single-centre, prospective, observational study conducted in a tertiary care paediatric hospital from August 2020 to May 2021. Children admitted to the emergency department PICU, intubated, and sedated for ≥48 h were enrolled. To explore their perceptions and attitudes with the PICU diary, parents were interviewed at 30 days from their child's discharge from the PICU, whereas PICU HCPs were surveyed at the end of the study. Data were analysed as proportions for categorical variables and means and medians for continuous variables according to the distribution, whereas qualitative data were summarised in categories by two independent researchers.


      Twenty families were enrolled in this study. A total of 275 daily PICU diary entries were collected. Children's median age was 9 years (interquartile range = 2–13.25), and the length of stay ranged from 6 to 39 days. PICU diary applicability was rated high by parents and HCPs (>8 on a 1–10 Likert scale). Parents and HCPs perceived PICU diaries as beneficial for communication between staff and families, for parents by expressing their emotions and for staff by becoming aware of how parents experienced their child's admission. Reported barriers were the lack of a private environment, the risk of exposure to public reading, and PICU workload.


      PICU diaries were feasible and perceived as beneficial both by parents and HCPs. Future research is warranted to understand the effect of PICU diaries on post-PICU outcomes.


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