Aims: The current study investigated the perceived importance and the perceived met needs of family members in the medical intensive care unit and assessed family members' satisfaction with needs met.
Background: Studies conducted throughout the world over the past 30 years indicate that family needs are still neglected. Unmet needs of family members of patients in the intensive care unit lead to dissatisfaction with care.
Design: A cross-sectional study.
Method: A total of 70 family members of critically ill patients were included in this study conducted in a medical intensive care unit in Israel between October 2007-September 2008, using a structured interview. Three outcomes measured by the Family Satisfaction in the Intensive Care Unit Inventory were regressed separately for baseline variables and family needs met subscales as measured by the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory. Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to detect factors that could have predicted each outcome.
Findings: The results showed differences between the perceived importance and the perceived met needs of family members. Satisfaction with care was positively related to meeting all needs domains except the information need. However, satisfaction with information and decision-making was related only to meeting information and emotional support needs.
Conclusion: Continued unmet needs of family members of intensive care unit patients have a negative impact on family satisfaction. Only sweeping changes in clinical practice will succeed in meeting the unmet needs of patients' families.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.