The Impact of Ethnic and Cultural Differences on Parental Satisfaction in the PICU*

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This study examined satisfaction of parents whose children were admitted to the PICU to identify priority areas for improvement. We hypothesized that differences exist in satisfaction of parents of different ethnicities.


Prospective observational study.


PICU in a tertiary care pediatric hospital.


All English-literate parents whose child was admitted to our PICU between February 2014 and February 2015 were eligible after informed consent was obtained. Parents included in this study in previous admission(s) were excluded.



Measurements and Main Results:

We adapted Empowerment of Parent in the Intensive Care Questionnaire, a validated questionnaire survey specific for measuring parental satisfaction in PICUs. This adapted survey consisted of 31 questions (based on a scale of 1–6) examining five domains as follows: information giving, care and cure, parental participation, organization, and professional attitude. Reliability of Empowerment of Parent in the Intensive Care Questionnaire in our population was analyzed using Cronbach’s alpha. We used ordinal logistic regression, controlling for socioeconomic status and educational level, to examine differences in parental perceptions of various ethnicities. We obtained a total of 206 responses (36.5%) from 543 admissions. There were 116 (56%) emergency and 90 (44%) elective admissions. The proportion of respondents were Chinese (126 [61%]), Malay (32 [16%]), Indian (23 [11%]), and “Others” (25 [12%]). Cronbach’s alpha for domains of information giving (α = 0.80), care and cure (α = 0.93), parental participation (α = 0.84), organization (α = 0.79), and professional attitude (α = 0.88) were good. In all five domains, our median PICU scores were 6 (interquartile range, 5–6). Compared to other ethnic groups, Malay parents did perceive that domains of “care and cure,” “parental participation,” and “professional attitude” were less satisfactory.


Significant differences were found in satisfaction ratings between parents of different ethnicities. Further studies are needed to explore and determine reasons for these differences.

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