Nurses' Attitudes Toward Clinical Research: Experience of the Therapeutic Hypothermia After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest Trials

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Mar;17(3):e121-9. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000609.


Objectives: To understand factors affecting nurses' attitudes toward the Therapeutic Hypothermia After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest trials and association with approach/consent rates.

Design: Cross-sectional survey of pediatric/cardiac intensive care nurses' perceptions of the trials.

Setting: Study was conducted at 16 of 38 self-selected study sites.

Subjects: Pediatric and cardiac intensive care nurses.

Measurements and main results: The primary outcome was the proportion of nurses with positive perceptions, as defined by agree or strongly agree with the statement "I am happy to take care of a Therapeutic Hypothermia after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest patient". Associations between perceptions and study approach/consent rates were also explored. Of 2,241 nurses invited, 1,387 (62%) completed the survey and 77% reported positive perceptions of the trials. Nurses, who felt positively about the scientific question, the study team, and training received, were more likely to have positive perceptions of the trials (p < 0.001). Nurses who had previously cared for a research patient had significantly more positive perceptions of Therapeutic Hypothermia After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest compared with those who had not (79% vs 54%; p < 0.001). Of the 754 nurses who cared for a Therapeutic Hypothermia After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest patient, 82% had positive perceptions, despite 86% reporting it required more work. Sixty-nine percent believed that hypothermia reduces brain injury and mortality; sites had lower consent rates when their nurses believed that hypothermia was beneficial. Institution-specific approach rates were positively correlated with nurses' perceptions of institutional support for the trial (r = 0.54; p = 0.04), ICU support (r = 0.61; p = 0.02), and the importance of conducting the trial in children (r = 0.61; p = 0.01).

Conclusions: The majority of nurses had positive perceptions of the Therapeutic Hypothermia After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest trials. Institutional, colleague, and study team support and training were contributing factors. Despite increased work, nurses remained enthusiastic demonstrating that studies with intensive bedside nursing procedures are feasible. Institutions whose nurses believed hypothermia was beneficial had lower consent rates, suggesting that educating nurses on study rationale and equipoise may enhance study participation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Child
  • Critical Care Nursing*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / nursing
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced / nursing*
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult