Current Content
Volume 33, Number 3
May/June 2007

Continuing Nursing Education
Parent Bed Spaces in the PICU: Effect on Parental Stress
Andrea B. Smith, Glenda C. Hefley, and K.J.S. Anand

The purpose of this comparative descriptive study was to identify the impact of providing a parent bed space in the PICU, allowing for continual parental presence, on stress of the parents of critically ill children. Data were collected from parents (n = 86) at two children's hospitals 3 months prior to the opening of new PICUs with parent bed spaces. Following a transition period, data were collected from a sample of parents (n = 92) who had used the parent bed to stay overnight with their child. Parental stress was measured with the Parental Stressor Scale: Pediatric Intensive Care (PSS: PICU). Stress scores were significantly lower (p = .02) for parents who utilized the parent beds in the new PICUs. New PICU environments that facilitate continual parental presence may reduce parental stress related to a child's hospitalization.