Post-Intensive Care Syndrome in Children: A Concept Analysis

J Pediatr Nurs. 2021 Nov-Dec:61:417-423. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2021.10.007. Epub 2021 Oct 20.


Problem: Post-intensive care syndrome in paediatrics (PICS-p) is a term used to describe newly acquired or worsened impairment in one or more aspects of a child's physical, psychological, cognitive, and social functioning after discharge from the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). However, consensus, conceptual insights, and assessment guidance are lacking for this syndrome. Therefore, this analysis aimed to define the concept of PICS-p to help practitioners and researchers understand the syndrome in detail using the Walker and Avant approach.

Eligibility criteria: We reviewed studies retrieved from several databases, namely PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, Ovid, ScienceDirect, and the Springer database, using the following keywords: 'post-intensive care syndrome', 'PICU', 'children', 'PICS-p', and 'concept analysis'. Both quantitative and qualitative studies on PICS-p were included in the search. The articles were limited to those published up to November 21, 2020.

Sample: Of the 762 publications selected, 24 publications met the inclusion criteria.

Results: PICS-p is defined on the basis of the following aspects: (1) Physical dysfunction; (2) Cognitive dysfunction; (3) Psychological dysfunction; and (4) Social dysfunction.

Conclusion: With the increasing success rate of PICU treatment, reduced case fatality is no longer the only outcome of critical illness in children. The long-term outcomes in children discharged from hospitals have attracted attention from families, hospitals, and communities.

Implications: A clear definition of PICS-p will help medical staff understand PICS-p in detail and provide a theoretical basis for the diagnosis and treatment of this syndrome.

Keywords: Concept analysis; Paediatric intensive care unit; Post-intensive care syndrome-paediatric.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Critical Care
  • Critical Illness*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric*
  • Patient Discharge

Supplementary concepts

  • postintensive care syndrome