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Revista chilena de pediatría

Print version ISSN 0370-4106


RAMIREZ, Muriel et al. Parental stressors in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Rev. chil. pediatr. [online]. 2018, vol.89, n.2, pp.182-189.  Epub Apr 06, 2018. ISSN 0370-4106.


The hospitalization of a child is a situation that produces a high level of stress on pa rents, especially at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).


To determine which are the main stressors perceived by the parents of children hospitalized at PICU and the associated variables.

Patients and Method:

A quantitative, cross-sectional and correlational study, which considers the secondary analysis of data from the IDA project # 201403 of UC School of Nursing: Validation of “The parental stressor scale infant hospitalization in Spanish” (PSSIH modified). Sampling was non probabilistic by convenience, with 217 parents of children at the PICU of a University hospital, who answered a demographic questionnaire and the modified PSSIH instrument to measure stressors in the PICU environment.


Three dimensions of stressors were identified: Clinical, Emotional and Communication with the professional team. The clinical dimension was the most stressful, with the factors images or sounds, procedures and interventions and the aspect of the child, dimensions related to behavior and communication with the team were less stressful. In addition, it is associated with a greater perception of stress in the different dimensions, when having: previous experiences in PICU, programmed admission, admission due tocardiac pathology, single child, higher educational level and no partner.


The modified PSSIH instrument made it possible to determine the main stressors perceived by the parents of children in the PICU, the Clinical dimension being the major stressor. These results are useful for developing local intervention programs according to the particular characteristics of the PICU.

Keywords : Pediatric intensive care unit; hospitalized child; parental stressor; humanization of assistance; health facility environment.

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