Background: Healthcare professionals disagree about admitting family members into the resuscitation room.
Aim: The aim of this study was to illuminate family members' experiences and views about being present in the resuscitation room with a relative requiring resuscitation.
Results: Seventeen family members were interviewed. Their narratives were analysed using content analysis. The main theme was interpreted as family members being "afraid of disturbing the resuscitation efforts, meaning that the most important person for them was the patient". Three groups of persons were in focus: patients, family members, and healthcare professionals. The theme related to the patient was "to be caring for the good of oneself and others" describing what family members believed the patient would want and what they themselves would have wanted if in the same situation. The themes related to family members were "to be dependent on the interplay between trusting oneself and advocating the patient and to be sensitive to one's own emotions and to be reasonable". The theme related to healthcare professionals was "to submit to or ignore the guidance of the healthcare professionals".
Conclusion: Family members differ about their presence in the resuscitation room. Omnipresent in the narratives was being afraid of disturbing the resuscitation efforts.