An interdisciplinary, family-focused approach to relational learning in neonatal intensive care

J Perinatol. 2011 Mar;31(3):212-9. doi: 10.1038/jp.2010.109. Epub 2010 Aug 12.


Objective: The aim of this study is to show the efficacy of the Program to Enhance Relational and Communication Skills-Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (PERCS-NICU).

Study design: In this study, 74 practitioners attended workshops and completed baseline, post-training and follow-up questionnaires.

Result: On yes/no questions, 93 to 100% reported improved preparation, communication skills and confidence post-training and follow-up. A total of 94 and 83% improved their ability to establish relationships, and 76 and 83% reported reduced anxiety post-training and follow-up, respectively. On Likert items, 59 and 64% improved preparation, 45 and 60% improved communication skills and confidence, 25 and 53% decreased anxiety and 16 and 32% improved relationships post-training and follow-up, respectively. Qualitative themes included integrating new communication and relational abilities, honoring the family perspective, appreciating interdisciplinary collaboration, personal/human connection and valuing the learning. In total, 93% applied skills learned, three-quarters transformed practice and 100% recommended PERCS-NICU.

Conclusion: After PERCS-NICU, clinicians improved preparation, communication and relational abilities, confidence and reduced anxiety when holding difficult neonatal conversations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / psychology*
  • Male
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires