The Effect of a Family Support Intervention on Physician, Nurse, and Family Perceptions of Care in the Surgical, Neurological, and Medical Intensive Care Units

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Many patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) have predictable medical and discharge outcomes, but some trajectories are marked with medical uncertainty. Stressed family-surrogates receive multiple medical updates from a variety of personnel. These circumstances can lead to confusion, which may result in conflicts and dissatisfaction with care. This study examined the effects of adding a family support coordinator to the surgical, neurological, and medical ICUs on family, physician, and nurse satisfaction with communication and care. A quasi-experimental design was conducted in 2 sequential phases (baseline and intervention). The data sources were 2 surveys: (1) Family Satisfaction Survey and (2) Nurse and Physician Perception and Satisfaction Survey. Family Satisfaction Survey data, a combined data set, were collected in the 3 ICUs. Nurse and Physician Perception and Satisfaction Survey data were collected from the attending physicians and critical care nurses in the medical and neurological ICUs. Results show that family ratings of satisfaction with ICU team communication and care generally increased as a result of the intervention. Overall, physician and nurse perceptions of communication and care did not change as a result of the intervention.

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Critical Care Nursing Quarterly