JOURNAL ARTICLE

Relatives' involvement in nursing care: a qualitative study describing critical care nurses' experiences

Birgitta Engström, Andreas Uusitalo, Asa Engström
Intensive & Critical Care Nursing: the Official Journal of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses 2011, 27 (1): 1-9
21146991

OBJECTIVES: When patients become critically ill it also affects their relatives. The aim of this study was to describe critical care nurses' experience of relatives' involvement in the nursing care of patients in an intensive care unit.

METHOD: Semi-structured personal interviews with eight critical care nurses in an intensive care unit in the northern part of Sweden were conducted during 2010. The interview texts were subjected to qualitative content analysis which resulted in the formulation of two main categories and five sub-categories.

FINDINGS: The findings showed that relatives' involvement was appreciated and seen as great resource for both patients and critical care nurses. Protecting the integrity of patients was one reason for limiting their involvement. The environment and lack of time were experienced as other obstacles to the involvement of relatives.

CONCLUSION: Aligning the needs of the relatives to be involved in the care with the needs of the patient and the work situation of the nurses requires open communication between all three parties.

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