Family satisfaction in the intensive care unit, a cross-sectional study from Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionBMC Emergency Medicine. 2021, 21 (1), . 10.1186/s12873-021-00412-8
Background Becoming critically ill represents not just a great upheaval for the patient in question, but also for the patient’s closest family. In recent years, there has been a change in how the quality of the public health service is measured. There is currently a focus on how patients and their families perceive the quality of treatment and care. It can be challenging for patients to evaluate their stay in an intensive care unit (ICU) due to illness and treatment. Earlier studies show that the perceptions of the family and the patient may concur. It is important, therefore, to ascertain the family’s level of satisfaction with the ICU stay. The aim of the study was to describe how the family evaluate their satisfaction with the ICU stay. A further aim was to identify which demographic variables were associated with differences in family satisfaction. Method The study had a cross-sectional design. A sample of 57 family members in two ICUs in Norway completed the questionnaire: Family satisfaction in the intensive care unit 24 (FS-ICU 24). Statistical analysis was conducted using the Mann-Whitney U test (U), Kruskal Wallis, Spearman rho and a performance-importance plot. Results The results showed that families were very satisfied with a considerable portion of the ICU stay. Families were less satisfied with the information they received and the decision-making processes than with the nursing and care performed during the ICU stay. The results revealed that two demographic variables – relation to the patient and patient survival – significantly affected family satisfaction. Conclusion Although families were very satisfied with the ICU stay, several areas were identified as having potential for improvement. The results showed that some of the family demographic variables were significant for family satisfaction. The findings are clinically relevant since the results can strengthen intensive care nurses’ knowledge when meeting the family of the intensive care patient.