A Collaborative Learning Assessment of Developmental Care Practices for Infants in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

Author ORCiD Identifier

Lisanti: 0000-0002-1826-6152

Publication Title

The Journal of pediatrics

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PubMed ID



OBJECTIVE: Assess differences in approaches to and provision of developmental care for infants undergoing surgery for congenital heart disease.

STUDY DESIGN: A collaborative learning approach was used to stratify, assess, and compare individualized developmental care practices among multidisciplinary teams at 6 pediatric heart centers. Round robin site visits were completed with structured site visit goals and postvisit reporting. Practices of the hosting site were assessed by the visiting team and reviewed along with center self-assessments across specific domains including pain management, environment, cue-based care, and family based care coordination.

RESULTS: Developmental care for infants in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) varies at both a center and individual level. Differences in care are primarily driven by variations in infrastructure and resources, composition of multidisciplinary teams, education of team members, and use of developmental care champions. Management of pain follows a protocol in most cardiac intensive care units, but the environment varies across centers, and the provision of cue-based infant care and family-based care coordination varies widely both within and across centers. The project led to proposed changes in clinical care and center infrastructure at each participating site.

CONCLUSIONS: A collaborative learning design fostered rapid dissemination, comparison, and sharing of strategies to approach a complex multidisciplinary care paradigm. Our assessment of experiences revealed marked variability across and within centers. The collaborative findings were a first step toward strategies to quantify and measure developmental care practices in the cardiac intensive care unit to assess the association of complex inpatient practices with long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes.


Cooperative Behavior, Critical Care, Heart Defects, Congenital, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Intensive Care Units, Neonatal, Learning, Models, Educational, Patient Care Team, United States



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