Do families want to be present during CPR? A retrospective survey

J Emerg Nurs. 1998 Oct;24(5):400-5. doi: 10.1016/s0099-1767(98)70005-4.


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to interview families who had experienced the death of a loved one to determine their desires, beliefs, and concerns about family presence during CPR.

Methods: A retrospective, descriptive telephone survey of families of patients who had died because of traumatic injuries while in an emergency department was used. A family presence survey was developed to determine the desires, beliefs, and concerns about family presence during CPR.

Results: Of the 25 family members surveyed, 80% said they would have wanted to have been in the room during CPR had they been given the option (desires), 96% believed that families should be able to be with their loved ones (beliefs), 68% believed that their presence might have helped their family member (beliefs), and 64% believed that their presence would have helped their sorrow following the death (beliefs). Major themes from family concerns were worry about the seriousness of the patient's condition and whether the patient would survive the resuscitation.

Discussion: Family members strongly support having the option of being present during CPR. Health care providers should explore ways to implement this program to best meet the needs of families.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Child
  • Death
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Grief
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Trauma / therapy*
  • Patients' Rooms*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires