Models of Care Delivery for Families of Critically Ill Children: An Integrative Review of International Literature

Kate Curtis, Kim Foster, Rebecca Mitchell, Connie Van*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


Critical illness in children is a life changing event for the child, their parents, caregivers and wider family. There is a need to design and evaluate models of care that aim to implement family-centred care to support more positive outcomes for critically ill children and their families. Due to a gap in knowledge on the impact of such models, the present review was conducted. Eligibility criteria: Primary research articles written in English that focused on children hospitalised for an acute, unexpected, sudden critical illness, such as that requiring an intensive care admission; and addressed the implementation of a model of care in a paediatric acute care hospital setting. Sample: Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Results: The models of care implemented were associated with positive changes such as reduced parental anxiety and improved communication between parents/caregivers and health professionals. However, no model provided intervention throughout each phase of care to (or post) hospital discharge. Conclusions: Models of care applying family-centred care principles targeting critically ill children and their families can create positive changes in care delivery for the family. However a model which provides continuity across the span of care is required. Implications: There is need to describe how best to design, implement and sustain models of care for critically ill children and their families. The success of any intervention implementation will be dependent on the comprehensiveness of the strategy for implementation, the relevance to the context and setting, and engagement with key stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-341
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pediatric Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Families
  • Family-centred care
  • Interventions
  • Models
  • Parents
  • Pediatric


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