Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Medicine (MMed)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. David Odaba

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Wangari-Siika


Anaesthesiology (East Africa)


Background: Family members of patients admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) have been shown to have important needs. Inability of the critical personnel to interrelate appropriately with relatives of critically unwell patients, or to recognize or meet their needs, may lead to increased anxiety, misconception and distrust from relatives.

Aim: To determine the needs of immediate family members of adult patients admitted to ICU at 48 hours at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. The Critical Care Family Needs Inventory questionnaire was employed to identify the needs of the immediate relatives of adult patients in the Intensive care Unit.

Results: 159 study subjects were recruited of which 55.3% were female. Family members ranked the needs in the subscales of assurance (mean 3.79, SD 0.25) and information (mean 3.61, SD 0.37) highest and those in the subscales of comfort (mean 3.12, SD 0.59) and support (mean 3.03, SD 0.54) lowest. Sociodemographic factors such as the relationship to the patient and the level of education did have not have an effect on the level of needs identified.

Conclusion: In this study, the next of kin of adult patients admitted to ICU have important needs that have to be met. The needs in the domains of assurance and information were ranked highest while those in the domains of support and comfort were ranked lowest. Sociodemographic variables such as gender, level of education and relationship did not determine the level of needs.