The needs of the family of critically ill neurosurgical patients: a comparison of nurses' and family members' perceptions

M K Tin, P French, K K Leung
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: Journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses 1999, 31 (6): 348-56
In this study, researchers identified the important needs of family members of critically ill neurosurgical patients and explored the relationship between needs and unmet needs as perceived by nurses and family members. A total of 52 family members and 36 nurses in three neurosurgical special care units in Hong Kong were asked to complete the Chinese version of the 45-item Critical Care Family Needs Inventory. The rank order of most important needs reported by family members indicates that the majority of needs are related to assurance; needs for support and comfort were much less important. When rating needs, nurses underrated most of the needs considered important by family members. Needs for proximity were also underrated in importance by nurses when compared to family ratings, and needs for support were heavily overrated by nurses. The needs for proximity were least met. An inverse relationship between nurses' ratings of importance and the frequency of unmet needs was demonstrated. The most important need that was also largely unmet was having a specific person call when unable to visit. The findings of this study indicate areas of unmet need that require additional nursing interventions.

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