Paediatric critical care nurses' attitudes and experiences of parental presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation: a European survey

Int J Nurs Stud. 2007 Sep;44(7):1238-49. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2006.05.006. Epub 2006 Jul 11.


Background: Although recent resuscitation guidelines are supportive of family presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation literature from the last decade suggests that it is often discouraged, and the subject remains a controversial issue.

Objectives: To determine the experiences and attitudes of European paediatric critical care nurses about parental presence during the resuscitation of a child.

Design: A survey design was employed.

Participants: A convenience sample of European paediatric critical care nurses was used.

Methods: A structured questionnaire was used, which incorporated a series of attitude statements that were rated using a 5-point Likert scale. Differences in attitudes were explored in three areas: decision-making, processes and outcomes of resuscitation.

Results: The results from this survey suggest that European paediatric nurses are very supportive of parental presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Only a few nurses reported that their unit had a policy that covered parental presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation and most nurses did not support the use of a dedicated nurse to look after the parents during resuscitation.

Conclusions: Compared with previous studies relating to adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation, paediatric nurses experience family member presence more frequently than adult critical care nurses and appear to be more supportive of relatives' presence. It is recommended that paediatric intensive care units establish local policies that cover parental presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / nursing*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / psychology
  • Child
  • Critical Care / organization & administration
  • Critical Care / psychology*
  • Decision Making
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Organizational Policy
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patients' Rooms / organization & administration
  • Pediatric Nursing / organization & administration
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visitors to Patients / education
  • Visitors to Patients / psychology*