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The needs of family members of patients admitted to the intensive care unit

Authors Alsharari AF

Received 18 December 2018

Accepted for publication 1 March 2019

Published 2 April 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 465—473

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S197769

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen


Abdalkarem F Alsharari

Nursing Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Jouf University, Sakakah, Saudi Arabia

Purpose: The unanticipated admission of a patient to the intensive care unit (ICU) can be particularly frightening and stressful for their family members. The objective of this study was to identify the most important needs of family members of patients admitted in the ICU and determine their relationship with their sociodemographic characteristics.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted from April to August 2017 among adult family members of patients admitted to the ICU of four public hospitals in the northern region of Saudi Arabia. The “Critical Care Family Needs Inventory” questionnaire was administered to all consenting relatives of ICU patients in order to determine the family needs. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Also, students’ t-test and ANOVA were carried out.
Results: The most important need identified by the family members was the need for assurance (3.62±0.44), followed by information (3.47±0.59), proximity (3.34±0.44), comfort (3.01±0.72), and support (2.91±0.68). A higher level of education was significantly associated with a higher level of need for assurance (P<0.001), information (P<0.001), and proximity (P<0.001). Also, participants who had an unconscious/semiconscious relative in the ICU assigned a higher level of importance to information need (P<0.001) compared with those with a conscious relative.
Conclusion: This study has shown that family members of patients admitted to ICU have elevated levels of needs in the assurance, proximity, and information dimensions that require to be addressed. This should guide the development of connection, effective communication, and beneficial cooperation toward offering the best possible care and support to ICU patients and their relatives.

Keywords: nursing care, needs assessment, critical care, family nursing


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