Preparing parents for their child's transfer from the PICU to the pediatric floor

Appl Nurs Res. 1999 Aug;12(3):114-20. doi: 10.1016/s0897-1897(99)80012-3.


The experimental study described here was conducted to examine a nursing intervention intended to diminish the anxiety level of parents of children being transferred from a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to a general pediatric floor. The convenience sample included 50 parents of patients in a PICU at a southeastern U.S. tertiary medical center. The sample was randomly assigned to control and experimental groups. All subjects' anxiety levels were measured using Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) 24 to 48 hours prior to the child's impending transfer. The experimental group subsequently was given a transfer-preparation letter along with a verbal explanation. Finally, both groups were retested using the STAI immediately prior to the child's transfer. After controlling for trait anxiety, the analysis of covariant results showed significantly lower anxiety levels among the subjects who received the transfer-preparation letter than among those who did not, F(1,47) = 18.65, p < .0005. The study concludes that effective transfer preparation can significantly reduce the anxiety experienced by parents who are facing the imminent transfer of their child out of the PICU.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / nursing*
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Child, Hospitalized*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Parents* / education
  • Parents* / psychology
  • Patient Transfer*
  • Pediatric Nursing / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching Materials