The COPE (Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment) Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Program is an evidence-based educational-behavioral intervention program for parents whose 2 to 7 year old children are admitted to the PICU. It is designed to begin shortly after admission to the PICU and extends to 2-3 days after discharge from the hospital. The program is designed to ease adjustment to hospitalization and help prevent parent and/or child mental health problems.
The program consists of an audio CD and a 32-page professionally printed workbook with educational information and activities for parents and their children to perform. Information and parent/child activities are organized in a phased sequence from soon after PICU admission until time after discharge: Phase One: 6–16 hours after admission to the PICU; Phase Two: 2–16 hours after transfer to the Pediatric Unit; Phase Three: After being home.
We provide onsite training workshops designed to prepare personnel who are involved in delivering COPE PICU Parent Program to families with critically ill hospitalized children. In addition, staff receive implementation consultations by phone and a copy of the COPE PICU Program Implementation Training Manual.
Findings from a randomized controlled trial with 174 parents and their young critically ill children showed positive outcomes for parents that included: less stress during hospitalization, stronger beliefs/confidence in their ability to care for their hospitalized children, greater participation in their children's care, and less depressive and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms after hospitalization. Children of parents who received the COPE program had fewer behavior problems, less hyperactivity and more adaptive behaviors up to 12 months after hospitalization than children of parents who did not receive the COPE program.
Melnyk, B., Crean, H., Feinstein, N. F., Fairbanks, E., & Alpert-Gillis, L. October 24, 2006. Testing the theoretical framework of the COPE Program for mothers of critically ill children: An integrative model of young children’s post-hospital adjustment behaviors. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/js1033.
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Melnyk, B.M., & Feinstein, N.F. (2009). Reducing hospital expenditures with the COPE (Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment) program for parents and premature infants: An analysis of direct healthcare neonatal intensive care unit costs and savings. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 33(1), 32- 37.*
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* Randomized Controlled Trials