Tele-psychological support for the children of critically ill patients hospitalised in the ICU

Project facts

Project promoter:
Intensive Care Forum
Project Number:
Target groups
Children ,
Young adults
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 91,119
The project is carried out in:


It has been well documented that severe disease and hospitalisation in the ICU may have negative biopsychosocial consequences not only for the patient, but also for their families; causing the need for psychological intervention. Recognising these needs, the ICF has decided to extend its psychological intervention programme, for underage family members who cannot visit the patient. By utilizing state-of-the-art technology we aim to develop an innovative telepsychological service increasing the accessibility and enhancing the mental health care for the target group. Our objective is to apply early intra-ICU individualized psychological intervention to decrease the prevalence of psychopathology. Second objective is to explain to children what an ICU is and how we take care of their loved ones, asses if they want or if they are in position to visit the patient and prepare them for a visit. Furthermore we aim to prepare them for the possibility of loss and support them through the grieving process. Utilizing state-of-the-art videoconferencing and web technologies we will develop the infrastructure to provide an effective mental healthcare delivery service.

Summary of project results

The following were developed to publicise the project: a) Project Logos, b) Project Information Boards and c) Posters, d) Two press Releases, e) TV short video,f) Two Presentations of the methodology and scientific results were presented in International Scientific Conferences. Intervention Protocol The activities that led to the development of the assessment and intervention protocol were the following: Literature Review, Scientific Workshop to agree on the methodology, User Requirements Questionnaires, Semi-structured interviews with Experts Psychologists, Consensus meeting, Protocol Development, Assessment and Intervention Methodology. Sscientific articles written by the team members are included in the website addressing the needs of children and guardians through the difficult time of having a loved one in the ICU. Moreover fairy tales regarding loss and bereavement were digitised, ICU photos and videos regarding the ICU were developed The TelePsychological Support Services that were developed as part of the platform are as follows: Real time communication between the child and the psychologist, Online Patient Management, online Individualised Clinical Record File (CRF), toolset containing the following applications: canvas for drawing, educational pictures, fairy tales, and animated videos), Personalized Support (the psychologist assigns the assets based on the child’s age, mental status and emotional matureness and according to the patients diagnosis and condition), Notifications (emails and real time notifications when users go online, (logs for every action children make while on the platform), For the whole duration of the programme 98 children benefited from ARIADNE project. 244 sessions were documented. 98 children participated in 234 in vivo sessions and 8 participated in 10 tele-psychological sessions (in September). The average age of the children who received in vivo psychological support was 10 years of age; whereas for those who participated in the telepsychological sessions the mean age was 16.5.Of the 98 children 44 were boys and 54 were girls. 40 of them were the children of patients, 43 were the grandchildren and the rest were otherwise related to the patients. 58 sessions were documented with 50 guardians devoted to guidance on how to handle their children, how and what information to provide, and finally, consultation on whether or not their children should visit the patient in the ICU, attend a funeral etc.

Summary of bilateral results