Beyond Survival: Pediatric Critical Care Interventional Trial Outcome Measure Preferences of Families and Healthcare Professionals*

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Abstract

Objectives:

To identify, in addition to survival, preferred outcome measures of PICU family care providers and PICU healthcare professionals for interventional trials enrolling critically ill children, and to describe general attitudes of family care providers and healthcare professionals regarding research in the PICU.

Design:

Cross-sectional survey examining subject experience with clinical research and personal preferences for outcome measures for a hypothetical interventional clinical trial.

Setting:

PICUs within four academic children’s hospitals in the United States and Canada.

Subjects:

Two cohorts including family members of critically ill children in PICUs (family care providers) and multidisciplinary staff working in the PICUs (healthcare professionals).

Interventions:

Administration of a short, deidentified survey.

Measurements:

Demographic data were collated for the two subject groups. Participants were queried regarding their attitudes related to research conducted in the PICU. In addition to survival, each group was asked to identify their three most important outcomes for an investigation examining whether or not an intervention helps seriously ill children recover.

Main Results:

Demographics for family care providers (n = 40) and healthcare professionals (n = 53) were similarly distributed. Female respondents (79.8%) predominated. Participants (98.9%) ascertained the importance of conducting research in the PICU, but significant challenges associated with this goal in the high stress PICU environment. Both quality of life and functioning after leaving the hospital were chosen as the most preferred outcome measure, with 77.5% of family care providers and 84.9% of healthcare professionals indicating this choice. Duration of organ dysfunction was identified by 70.0% of family care providers and 40.7% of healthcare professionals as the second most preferred outcome measure.

Conclusions:

In addition to survival, long-term quality of life/functional status and duration of organ dysfunction represent important interventional trial outcome measures for both families of critically ill children, as well as the multidisciplinary team who provides critical care.

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