Background and aims In a regional Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) the research team have been recruiting to three multi-centre randomised controlled trials. The team were interested to explore parent’s preference for the research nurses wearing a uniform whilst recruiting to these trials.
Method 62 questionnaires were given out to non-research PICU staff (nursing, administrative and medical staff). Multiple choice questions asked what they would prefer to see research nurses wearing when approaching parents about research. 24 questionnaires were given out to parents who had been approached about research trial participation in PICU. Multiple choice questions asked whether they would prefer to be approached for consent by a research nurse wearing a clinical nurse uniform, alternative uniform or their own clothes (pictorial representations given).
Results Parental questionnaire return rate was 67%. Responding parents favoured (62%) a uniform with reasons given including ease of identification, trust and professionalism. From the options provided, only 6% chose the ‘own clothes’ option. 32% reported no preference.
31% of parents felt that what the nurse was wearing was likely to have influenced their decision to give their consent, no information was given as to whether this would be in a positive or negative way.
Staff questionnaire return rate was 73%. 67% preferred a uniform, 22% an ‘own clothes’ option and 11% reporting no preference.
Conclusion The results display a preference towards research nurses wearing a uniform, however there is no agreement as to what that uniform should be.
Further research would be needed to conclude whether the wearing of a uniform influences parental decision to consent for their child to participate in research trials and before any recommendations can be made for practice.
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