The goal of this doctoral research training program is to understand how pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurses care for dying children and their families.
The specific aims are: 1) to describe PICU nurses'perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes toward palliative care in the intensive care unit;2) to describe PICU nurses'competence and comfort in delivering palliative care;3) to investigate the resources and support available to PICU nurses in providing care for dying children and their families;and 4) to describe how palliative nursing care is delivered in the PICU. Grounded theory research methods will be used to achieve these aims. Open-ended interviews and participant observation during clinical practice will be conducted with nurses from a single PICU, allowing for in-depth analysis of the roles that both individual and environmental factors play in the delivery of end-of-life care to children and families in the PICU. Audio- recordings of the interviews and field notes from observations will allow for analysis of themes and the development of a theoretical model that describes PICU nurses'work with dying children and their families.

Public Health Relevance

The majority of children who die each year do so in the hospital and in an intensive care unit. Pediatric intensive care unit nurses have a central, front-line role in the delivery of care to critically ill children and their families and are therefore frequently present at or near the time of a child's death. They are uniquely positioned to identify the existing supports and barriers to the implementation of palliative care in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting. This research proposal will explore PICU nurses'role in the delivery of palliative care and identify the supports of and barriers to providing palliative care in the pediatric ICU. The information obtained from this study will contribute to efforts aimed at improving pediatric palliative care and supporting the healthcare providers who care for dying children and their families.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
National Institute of Nursing Research Initial Review Group (NRRC)
Program Officer
Aziz, Noreen M
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Francisco
Other Health Professions
Schools of Nursing
San Francisco
United States
Zip Code
Baird, Jennifer; Rehm, Roberta S; Hinds, Pamela S et al. (2016) Do You Know My Child? Continuity of Nursing Care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Nurs Res 65:142-50
Baird, Jennifer; Davies, Betty; Hinds, Pamela S et al. (2015) What impact do hospital and unit-based rules have upon patient and family-centered care in the pediatric intensive care unit? J Pediatr Nurs 30:133-42
Davies, Betty; Baird, Jennifer; Gudmundsdottir, Maria (2013) Moving family-centered care forward: Bereaved fathers' perspectives. J Hosp Palliat Nurs 15: