Measuring family satisfaction with care in the intensive care unit: the development of a questionnaire and preliminary results

J Crit Care. 2001 Dec;16(4):142-9. doi: 10.1053/jcrc.2001.30163.


Purpose: To develop and test the feasibility of administering a questionnaire to measure family members' level of satisfaction with care provided to them and their critically ill relative.

Materials and methods: To develop the questionnaire, existing conceptual frameworks of patient satisfaction, decision making, and quality of end-of-life care were used to identify important domains and items. We pretested the questionnaire for readability, clarity, and sensibility in 21 family members and 16 professionals. To assess validity, we measured the correlation between satisfaction with overall care and satisfaction with decision making. To assess the reliability of the questionnaire, we administered the questionnaire to next of kin of surviving patients on discharge and 7 to 10 days later.

Results: Questionnaires were mailed out to 33 family members of nonsurvivors; 24 were returned completed but only 22 (66%) were usable.Twenty-five family members of eligible surviving critically ill patients participated in the test-retest part of this study. Of the 47 respondents, 84% were very satisfied with overall care and 77% were very satisfied with their role in the decision making. There was good correlation between satisfaction with overall care and satisfaction with decision making (correlation coefficient =.64). The assessment of overall satisfaction with care was shown to be reliable (correlation coefficient =.85).

Conclusions: This questionnaire has some measure of reliability and validity and is feasible to administer to next of kin of critically ill patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Consumer Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / standards*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminal Care / standards