World café methodology engages stakeholders in designing a neonatal intensive care unit

Margaret Broom, Bernadette Brady, Zsuzsoka Kecskes, Sue Kildea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This paper discusses engaging World Café Methodology (WCM) during the design process when building a world class Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The NICU World Café was held to consider the requirements needed to support a philosophy of family centred care acknowledging the needs of neonates, families and staff. 

Method: A NICU World Café was conducted with the aim to engage stakeholders in the design of a new NICU. World Café Methodology is an integrated set of principles for hosting conversations that matter. Stakeholders converse with Café experts regarding the question of the Café from which a collective knowledge evolves to answer the Café question. 

Results: The NICU World Café stakeholders identified a core group of requirements essential to creating a functional NICU: flexibility, visibility, privacy, skills, safety and sense of community. Stakeholders resolved these requirements could be applied most effectively in both two and single cot rooms, detailing their recommendations for the architects. 

Conclusion: World Café Methodology facilitated stakeholders' exposure to a variety of opinions and new information regarding the NICU's new design. Applying WCM principles allowed stakeholders to focus on the key issues and find answers to their question.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neonatal Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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