eISSN: 2300-6722
ISSN: 1899-1874
Medical Studies/Studia Medyczne
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3/2021
vol. 37
 
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abstract:
Original paper

The family needs of patients admitted to the intensive care unit – a preliminary report

Katarzyna Białek
1

1.
Institute of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Collegium Medicum, Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce, Poland
Medical Studies/Studia Medyczne 2021; 37 (3): 202–210
Online publish date: 2021/09/30
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Introduction
Admission of a family member to an intensive care unit (ICU) is deeply distressing. Families of critically ill patients have needs that should be recognized and met by the ICU medical staff. Many investigations have presented that meeting the needs of families may help them cope with the stress and improve their well-being during the hospitalisation.
Aim of the research: To identify the needs of family members of patients admitted to the ICU, where patients in a condition threatening their health and life are treated.

Material and methods
Completed questionnaires were obtained from 37 family members of patients treated at a cardiac intensive care and intensive care unit, to identify the needs of family members of patients admitted to ICUs; the author’s questionnaire was used. The questionnaire included a list of 16 needs that the relatives assessed on a scale from 1 to 4. The higher the number, the more important the need is in the subjective perception of the relatives.

Results and conclusions
The most frequently endorsed stressors in family members of ICU patients were as follows: direct threat to the patient’s life, poor prognosis, altered appearance of the patient, and the way the family will function after the end of hospitalization. Needs such as truthful information provided by physicians at least once a day, instructions from the physicians about how to deal with the patient after leaving the hospital, and confidence that the patient is receiving the best possible care were considered to be the most important. Meeting these needs should be a primary responsibility of ICU medical staff.

keywords:

intensive care unit, family needs, patient’s family, hospitalization

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