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Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2011 Jun;27(3):151-7. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2011.03.005. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

Mothers' experiences of a Touch and Talk nursing intervention to optimise pain management in the PICU: a qualitative descriptive study.

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Department of Nursing, The Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University Health Centre, Canada.



Parents consistently express a desire to support their child and retain a care-giving role in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Qualitative data gathered as part of a PICU intervention study were analysed to explore mothers' experiences using a Touch and Talk intervention to comfort their children during invasive procedures.


To describe how mothers experienced involvement in their children's care through a Touch and Talk intervention and whether they would participate in a similar intervention again. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND SETTING: A qualitative descriptive design was used and semi-structured interviews conducted with 65 mothers in three Canadian PICUs. Data were subjected to thematic analysis.


The overarching theme centred on the importance of comforting the critically ill child. This included being there for the child (the importance of parental presence); making a difference in the child's pain experience; and feeling comfortable and confident about participating in care. All but two mothers would participate in the intervention again and all would recommend it to others.


Giving parents the choice of being involved in their child's care using touch and distraction techniques during painful procedures can provide an invaluable opportunity to foster parenting and support the child during a difficult PICU experience.

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