Meeting the needs of intensive care unit patient families: a multicenter study

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001 Jan;163(1):135-9. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.163.1.2005117.


Intensive care unit (ICU) caregivers should seek to develop collaborative relationships with their patients' family members, based on an open exchange of information and aimed at helping family members cope with their distress and allowing them to speak for the patient if necessary. We conducted a prospective multicenter study of family member satisfaction evaluated using the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory. Forty-three French ICUs participated in the study. ICU characteristics, patient and family member demographics, and data on satisfaction were collected. Factors associated with satisfaction were identified using a Poisson regression model. A total of 637 patients were included in the study, and 920 family members completed the questionnaire. Seven predictors of family satisfaction were found: one family-related factor, namely, family of French descent and six caregiver-related factors, namely, no perceived contradictions in information given by caregivers; information provided by a junior physician; patient to nurse ratio </= 3; knowledge of the specific role of each caregiver; help from the family's own doctor; and sufficient time spent giving information. Predictors of satisfaction are amenable to intervention and deserve to be investigated further with the goal of improving the satisfaction of ICU patients' family members.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires