Immediate needs of adult family members of adult intensive care patients in Hong Kong

Linda Yin King Lee, Yee Ling Lau
Journal of Clinical Nursing 2003, 12 (4): 490-500
Having a family member admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is stressful for the whole family. Stress can hinder family members' coping and thus affect the support that is given to patient. In order to lessen the effect of stress, family members' immediate needs must be identified and met. The aim of this study was to explore the immediate needs of adult family members of adult intensive care patients in Hong Kong. The study adopted a descriptive cross-sectional design. The Chinese version of Critical Care Family Need Inventory (CCFNI) was used to investigate the immediate needs of a convenience sample of 40 adult family members of patients in an adult ICU. Data were collected through personal interviews within 24-72 hours of patients' admission. Findings revealed that 25 out of 45 need items on the CCFNI that were rated as important or very important. The need "to know the expected outcome" was ranked as the most important. All the needs related to reassurance were ranked within the top 10 important needs. The top 10 important needs were met by doctors and nurses. There were significant differences in needs between family members with different gender, experience of visiting ICUs, religious background and characteristics of patients. The findings suggest that family members perceived reassurance and information support as important. Although this study was limited by using a small convenience sample, the findings could still provide insight for nurses working in ICUs.

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