Understanding the co-construction of safety in the paediatric intensive care unit: a meta-ethnography of parents’ experiences
Children experiencing critical illness or injury may require admission to a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to receive life-sustaining or life-saving treatment. Studies have explored the experience of parents with a child in PICU but tend to focus on subgroups of children or specific healthcare systems. Therefore, we aimed to undertake a meta-ethnography to draw together the published research.
A systematic search strategy was developed to identify qualitative studies, which had explored the experiences of parents with a critically ill child treated in a PICU. A meta-ethnography was undertaken following the structured steps of identifying the topic; undertaking a systematic search; reading the research; determining how the studies relate and translate into each other; and synthesising and expressing the results.
We identified 2989 articles from our search and after a systematic series of exclusions, 15 papers remaining for inclusion. We explored the original parent voices (first order) and the interpretation of the study authors (second order) to identify three third-order concepts (our interpretation of the findings), which related to technical, relational and temporal factors. These factors influenced parents' experiences, providing both barriers and facilitators to how parents and caregivers experienced the time their child was in the PICU. The dynamic and co-constructed nature of safety provided an analytical overarching frame of reference.
This synthesis demonstrates novel ways in which parents and caregivers can contribute to the vital role of ensuring a co-created safe healthcare environment for their child when receiving life-saving care within the PICU.
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National Institute for Health ResearchFind out more...
Author affiliationDepartment of Population Health Sciences, University of Leicester
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