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To use classic survey methodology to develop a specific survey tool that can assess parent satisfaction with medical care in a pediatric intensive care setting.Application of survey design methodology to develop and analyze a parent satisfaction survey.A pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in a large teaching hospital.Sixty-six parents of children admitted to a PICU.A four-stage process of item selection, item reduction, pretesting, and test analysis was used to create a 23-item parent satisfaction survey that was statistically analyzed and developed specifically for the PICU setting. The survey tool was developed with the input of parents of children admitted to a PICU, and it was administered to parents in the PICU. The resultant survey was analyzed for validity and reliability. Both test-retest and internal consistency reliability were evaluated. This design yielded a survey with acceptable reliability, as demonstrated by a reliability coefficient of 0.8275. Test-retest reliability also showed good correlation of answers. Validity was partially established by including parents in the identification of survey topics.Classic survey design methodology was applied to develop a specific satisfaction survey in a pediatric inpatient setting. This stepwise method yielded a parent survey specific to one type of inpatient unit, and the resultant survey tool reliably measured levels of parent satisfaction with medical care in that area. This study demonstrates the feasibility of applying classic survey methodology to develop a statistically analyzed parent satisfaction survey for an inpatient setting.