Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Roxanne Reid


Dr. Roxanne Reid

Dr. Elise Schaller

Erin Perez

Dr. Susan Dean-Baar


Problem: Parents of infants less than one-year-old with complex congenital heart disease (CCHD) experience significant stress while their child is admitted to the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PCICU), often resulting in trauma to parents and their families. Trauma informed care (TIC) seeks to minimize the impact of emotional trauma and it acknowledges previous trauma an individual may have experienced.

Methods: The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project was to assess the thrive guide’s ability to decrease parental stress in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PCICU). The aim was to decrease parental Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) scores by 10% in parents of infants with CCHD during a twelve-week implementation period. The thrive guide is a TIC tool developed at the project site that is created in collaboration with the family to aid staff in providing TIC. Data was collected from a large, pediatric tertiary care center in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit.

Results: Analysis included t-tests and an ANOVA on pre/post PSS mean scores. A correlation and regression analysis were completed on parental satisfaction surveys of the thrive guide. All analyses were not significant except for the regression analysis which had a p-value = 0.03 showing there is enough evidence to show that there is a positive relationship between a parent’s satisfaction survey and the reduction of their PSS score. The average reduction of PSS scores was 12.34%.

Implications for practice: Limitations include a small sample size. Clinical significance supports the use of the thrive guide in the PCICU. Recommendations include widening the inclusion criteria, expanding TIC to the cardiac floor, and expanding staff education of TIC.