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The pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) hospitalization of a child is stressful for parents. Helping parents to decrease their stress is warranted so that they can function in a vital role that is therapeutic to them and their critically ill child. Although many interventions have been recommended to help parents decrease their stress, only the Nursing Mutual Participation Model of Care (NMPMC) has been tested in the clinical setting. This article reports a study that expands on Curley's original work by investigating the effects of the NMPMC on parental stress when implemented by PICU staff nurses. Fifty-six parents participated in the study, which used a quasi-experimental design. Sequential sampling placed the first 31 subjects into the control group and the next 25 subjects in the experimental group. The experimental group received care from staff nurses instructed in the NMPMC. The dependent measure was the Parental Stressor Scale: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PSS:PICU) administered within 24 to 48 hours of PICU admission, every 48 hours thereafter, and 24 hours after PICU discharge. The results indicated that parents in the experimental group perceived less stress than the control group, specifically the stress related to alterations in parental role in the PICU setting. Implications for nursing care are discussed.
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