Comparison between nurses' and families' opinion about priorities of immediate patient's family needs

Intessar Mohamed Ahmad


Background and objective: Acute critical illness represents a crisis not just for the individual patient however conjointly for the members of the family. Moreover, the admission of the patient represents a sudden crisis allowing no time for its preparation. The responsibilities of critical care nurses extend beyond the patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) to incorporate the members of the family of these patients. Nurses are a primary resource for members of family of ICU patients and they are in a perfect position to assist patients’ members of the family in an applicable approach. For this reason, recognition of these needs by nursing personnel is very important for applying of holistic nursing care. The aims of this study were 1) Ranking the immediate needs of members of family of critically ill patients and nurses. 2) Comparing between nurses, and families, opinion regarding priorities of immediate patient's family needs using Critical Care Family Needs Inventory (CCFNI).

Methods: This descriptive study was conducted at the general ICUs of Damanhour Medical Institute which has 15 beds, Damanhour chest hospital which has 7 beds and Itay Elbaroad General Hospital which has 11 beds. The three units have a total of 100 nurses. A questionnaire was used for data collection. It consisted of part one which comprised patient's condition whose families were studied participants, biosocial knowledge related to the members of family and part two which included CCFNI tool. The adapted CCFNI was translated into colloquial Arabic. Participant members of family were individually interviewed by the researcher. Members of family were required to answer each statement with strongly agree, agree, neutral, do not agree and strongly do not agree. The interview took approximately 45 to 60 minutes to be completed, and all interviews took place within the 72 hours' time frame of each patient's admission to the critical care unit. The nurses were approached and given the questionnaires to be filled in by themselves during handover, tea or lunch break.

Results: Generally, families ranked their knowledge, proximity and comfort needs higher in importance than the nurses. Also, the knowledge and assurance needs were ranked above the needs for support, comfort, and proximity by our participating nurses and members of family. Moreover, the mean scores of knowledge, proximity, support and comfort needs for members of family were significantly higher than these for nurses. Out of 35 needs of the members of family in the CCFNI, there were no significant differences between the mean scores of the nurses and those of the members of family in 10 individual needs. Results show that the nurses were correct in 10 out of 35 members of family’ individual needs. The remaining mean scores from 25 individual needs showed significant differences between the nurses and actual family needs. Results show that did not meet all the specific family needs during the care of the critically ill patients. Results show that members of family scored significantly higher than nurses on 20 statements while, the nurses scored significantly higher than members of family on only 5 of the statements.

Conclusions: Families considered that knowledge then assurance was the most important needs. While nurses considered that assurance then knowledge were the most important needs which indicate that nurses underestimated the needs of the family and family need may be inaccurately evaluated by heath care team and almost unmet. Furthermore, Members of family in this study considered the needs that bring comfort and support as less in priority needs.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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