Implementation of a research awareness program in the critical care unit: effects on families and clinicians

Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2010 Apr;26(2):69-74. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2009.09.003. Epub 2009 Oct 27.


Background: Successful conduct of research studies in the critically ill requires communication with families, substitute decision-makers and clinicians.

Objective: To assess the effect of a communication package on attitude, knowledge and research awareness among family members and clinicians.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, single centre, before and after study. We distributed a validated questionnaire to family members and clinicians assessing the three domains of research attitude, knowledge and awareness before and after implementation of a research communication package consisting of an informational pamphlet and display poster.

Results: Response rates for the family member survey were 22% (baseline) and 15% (post-intervention). No differences were found in the attitude, knowledge and awareness of family members following implementation of the research communication package. The global awareness score (calculated by summing the domain responses) rose 4.0 points (P=0.056). Response rates for clinicians were 36% (baseline) and 33% (post-intervention). No differences were found in attitude, knowledge and awareness and global awareness score.

Conclusion: Passive dissemination of research materials was not sufficient to generate an increased awareness, knowledge, or perceived utility of research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Caregivers*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Ontario
  • Pamphlets
  • Personnel, Hospital*
  • Prospective Studies