What families want - an assessment of family expectations in the ICU.

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Introduction: Families of Patients admitted in the intensive care units (ICUs) experience high levels of emotional stress. Access to information about Patient's medical conditions and quality relationships with healthcare staff are high priority needs for these families and meeting these needs of the family members is a primary responsibility of ICU physicians and nurses. Methodology: Our objectives were to assess the expectations of ICU Patients' families that can be fulfilled by physicians and nurses. The design was a descriptive, exploratory questionnaire based study over 6 months in the multidisciplinary ICU of a tertiary care hospital. Results: Of 205 interviews, the median age of the Patient was 28 years. One hundred and nineteen (58%) were male and Eighty six (42%) Patients were female. 163 (79.5%) of the relatives were Next of kin, and 133 (64.9%) were male members. Of the family members, 20 (9.8%) were spouses. One hundred and forty two (69.3%) belonged to Middle income group. Ninety nine (48.3%) were Graduates of high school or above. Relation to Patient, sex of relative, DNR status of Patient and age of relative were statistically significant to make a difference to the satisfaction score. The majority of the relatives reached a score of 22-25. Conclusion: We conclude that families of critically ill Patients were generally satisfied with communication in the ICU, however, our limitations are the cohort in our urban based tertiary care hospital may not adequately represent the majority of our population which is poor and illiterate and many other factors such as misunderstanding of medical knowledge and a more patriarchal attitude of physicians may affect family needs and satisfaction scores.


International Archives of Medicine

Previous Versions

Apr 9 2013