Experiences of four parents with physical therapy and early mobility of their children in a pediatric critical care unit: A case series Academic Article uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to conduct a preliminary investigation into parents' experiences of physical therapy and early mobility (EM) for their children in a pediatric critical care unit (PCCU). METHODS: We conducted a series of four qualitative case studies using in-depth semi-structured face-to-face interviews. We recruited parents of children who had undergone surgery and received at least one EM physical therapy intervention while intubated. We conducted a thematic analysis of transcribed interviews to illuminate the factors that influenced EM experiences. RESULTS: Four parents participated in the study. We developed an overview of Parental Experiences with Physical Therapy and Early Mobility in a PCCU, which includes four themes that parents believed influenced their experiences: (1) environmental factors; (2) awareness of physical therapist and health care professional (HCP) roles; (3) communication among parents and HCPs; and (4) parental participation in their child's EM, within the overarching parental experiences in the PCCU. CONCLUSION: This study affords a preliminary understanding of parents' experiences with physical therapy and EM in a PCCU setting. Results provide an important foundation for future research on mobility in the context of pediatric critical care research and practice.


  • Parisien, Rachel B
  • Gillanders, Kirstie
  • Hennessy, Erin K
  • Herterich, Lisa
  • Saunders, Kendra
  • Lati, Jamil
  • Dos Santos, Stephanie
  • Hassall, Alison
  • O'Brien, Kelly

publication date

  • May 31, 2016