The Needs Of Family Members Of Patients In Intensive Care

The Needs of Family Members of Patients in Intensive Care

  • Yinet Literature Review Paper

    Critical illness denotes a severe condition that is usually fatal (McAdam, Fontaine, White, Dracup, & Puntillo, 2012). Therefore, critical illness signifies a condition, disease, or sicknesses such as cancer, renal disorder, heart surgery, myocardial infarction, coma, stroke, loss of sight, transplant of a major organ, and different kinds of surgeries to mention a few. Fundamentally, medical practitioners comprehend the worth of offering some kind of aid in the stressful experiences of family members by reflecting on how they would desire being assisted if in an identical state. This literature review employs reputable peer-reviewed journals from credible sources such as Google and online libraries that encompass EBSCOhost and Emerald. At first, the search yielded over 100 journals that were narrowed down to ten of the best, which were used in this study.

    PICOT Question

    In which way do the family members and the critically ill patients diagnosed with critical conditions and diseases cope with the suffering and hospitalization at the intensive care unit during the period of care provision?

    Critical Illness

    The intensive (critical) care unit (ICU) could be a challenging setting for the family members of patients, particularly when the loved ones are at an immense risk of death. The patients in the intensive care unit are critically ill, sedated, and with numerous intricate interventions, usually making them unable to take part in their care (Pattison, Carr, Turnock, & Dolan, 2013). The anticipation that the family members will act as surrogate judgment makers and supporters of the patients while still making preparations for the possible loss of their loved one overburdens them. Critical illness, as well as hospitalization in the ICU, is a distressing occurrence that could result in considerable mayhem not just for the patients but also for the people close to them.

    The magnitude of the Problem

    Critical care settings offer medical attention to patients who have life-threatening sicknesses and conditions, which call for intensive attention, close examination, and backing of specialized equipment and medications to make sure that normal bodily operations are in order. Critical care settings are staffed by tremendously trained professionals together with specialization in the particular proper care of patients together with critical illnesses (Petrinec, Mazanec, Burant, Hoffer, & Daly, 2015). These are different coming from the normal medical center units in that will they have to have additional nurse-to-patient proportions in addition to availability of superior medical equipment not necessarily usually accessible found in every other ward found in a health service. Patients could be referenced to an essential care setting coming from an emergency device if necessary, coming from any other keep when their problem exceedingly deteriorates, or even rigtht after a significant surgery that may be unpleasant where the sufferers have a chance of complexities.

    Because healthcare practitioners are usually trained to handle the necessities regarding the patients, they will could disregard the particular requirements of the particular family members. The particular ill-fated actuality would be that the members of the particular family of the particular critically ill typically face enhanced incident of psychological in addition to physical health worries, and are not very likely to prioritize their particular necessities. The the greater part of loved ones generally experience depression, panic, and stress (Brysiewicz & Bhengu, 2010). On this take note, critical care nursing staff should adequately help family members by means of the provision regarding coping and emotional support via connection, referrals, and confidence. Critical care nursing staff ought to work together with other stakeholders for example social staff to provide personalized attention for patients in addition to their family people.

    The particular family of any vitally ill entails his or her spouse, children, mothers and fathers, siblings, as well as other close up relatives for example grandpa and grandma, aunts, uncles, in addition to cousins to say a new few (Adams ou al., 2014). Even though several family people of critically sick patients successfully offer with the causes of the essential condition, many require coping mechanisms and several could be lost to some point regarding even interfering together with the recovery regarding the patient. Nursing staff and other well being professionals inside the important care setting can easily facilitate positive dealing policies of household members and help make efforts to assure their effectiveness. Typically the term coping suggests the means involving working with the stresses of critical condition reasonably irrespective involving the unavoidable issues, psychological, and actual disturbance with which in turn family have to be able to come to words.

    The household members of typically the patients in important care settings deal with augmented psychological and even physical problems (Davidson, Jones, & Bienvenu, 2012). The entry in critical attention settings seems to be able to be an really unfamiliar and overwhelming environment for typically the family members. That mostly occurs at any time and the associates of the household imagine the likelihood of their family member dying or appearing severely disabled (Foster, Whitehead, & Maybee, 2016). Coping using the stressors involving critical illness calls for the engagement involving family in decision-making about the care involving the patient. Family could help inside of giving end-of-life determinations and ideas relating to the putting on life-sustaining therapies to note some sort of few hence getting a significant role inside the care of their very own loved ones. To increase the coping components of the household members, medical researchers include accountability for encouraging a setting of which caters to typically the psychological and actual challenges.


    If well well prepared by nurses, typically the family members may act as some sort of buffer against typically the deterioration of typically the condition of typically the patients and work as helpful help resources for typically the patients (Clissett, Porock, Harwood, & Gladman, 2013). Nonetheless, in the event that the nurses abandon the family associates to suffer major depression, anxiety, and pressure, they could get incapable of looking after the patients properly. Therefore, it is definitely vital for important care nurses to be able to discover the demands with the family associates and meet these people by offering suited interventions. In this kind of regard, critical worry nurses have got a role to play inside the identification of typically the needs of typically the family members and even establishing the top method of responding to be able to such requirements. To be able to succeed in this kind of role, nurses have to take into mind typically the cultural competence, help, and flexibility with the family members involving critically ill people. Cultural competence is going to enable the nursing staff being cautious using interventions and present the most ideal ones (Iverson ain al., 2014). Assisting flexibility will support family members throughout coping with probable stressors through designed approaches. Additionally, by way of supporting the household members, the requirements will be satisfied entirely, which as well reduces depression, anxiety, and stress, and improves coping.

    Through advocating for the participation of other stakeholders, critical care nurses successfully instigate coping mechanisms for family members early during the stay of their loved ones in the critical care setting. Initiating the coping mechanisms early goes a long way to prevent the worsening of the conditions of the patients, improving communication between the health professionals and the family members, and promoting the family members’ satisfaction with the provided care; all these assists in reducing the depressive symptoms of the family members.

    Moreover, critical care nurses should engage in communication with family members to assess the occurrence of symptoms such as stress, depression, and anxiety. To do this effectively, critical care nurses should seek the frequent involvement of the family members in decision-making and other aspects of care for critically ill patients. The regular interrelations give nurses the capacity to establish connections and confidence with family members while being watchful of any variation in the behavior of the family members. In serious conditions of the particular depressive symptoms, crucial care nurses ought to help family users to obtain religious care, counseling, plus assistance from assistance groups (Timmins & Neill, 2013).


    Critical treatment nurses possess an important role in fulfilling the needs from the family members associated with the patients inside critical care configurations to ensure substantial influence on the particular well-being of the particular patients. Interventions are usually necessary to tackle the depression plus anxiety faced simply by the members of the family whenever a patient will be hospitalized at the critical care device, plus they assist inside the enhancement associated with coping mechanisms. Crucial care nurses are usually supposed to function together along with other stakeholders such as sociable workers to make sure the wellbeing associated with patients and their family members members. Moreover, they ought to seek the normal participation of the particular family members within the making of choices along with other facets associated with care for the particular patients.


    Adams, J. The., Anderson, R. The., Docherty, S. T., Tulsky, J. The., Steinhauser, K. Electronic., & Bailey, Deb. E. (2014). Medical strategies to assistance members of the family of ICU patients at higher risk of passing away. Coronary heart & Lung: The particular Journal of Severe and Critical Treatment , 43 (5), 406-415.

    Brysiewicz, P., & Bhengu, B. L. (2010). The experiences associated with nurses in offering psychosocial support to families of vitally ill trauma individuals in intensive treatment units: A research in the Durban metropolitan area. Southern African Diary of Critical Treatment , 26 (2), 42-51.

    Clissett, P., Porock, D., Harwood, L. H., & Gladman, J. R. (2013). Experiences of family members carers of old people with mental health problems in the acute general hospital: A qualitative research. Diary of Advanced Medical , 69 (12), 2707-2716.

    Davidson, J. Electronic., Jones, C., & Bienvenu, O. M. (2012). Family respon to critical illness: Postintensive care syndrome–family. Critical Care Medicine , 40 (2), 618-624.

    Foster, M., Whitehead, L., & Maybee, P. (2016). The parents’, hospitalized child’s, and health care providers’ perceptions and experiences of family-centered care within a pediatric critical care setting: A synthesis of quantitative research. Journal of Family Nursing , 22 (1), 6-73.

    Iverson, E., Celious, A., Kennedy, C. R., Shehane, E., Eastman, A., Warren, V., & Freeman, B. D. (2014). Factors affecting stress experienced by surrogate decision makers for critically ill patients: Implications for nursing practice. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing , 30 (2), 77-85.

    McAdam, J. L., Fontaine, D. K., White, D. B., Dracup, K. A., & Puntillo, K. A. (2012). Psychological symptoms of family members of high-risk intensive care unit patients. American Journal of Critical Care , 21 (6), 386-394.

    Pattison, N., Carr, S. M., Turnock, C., & Dolan, S. (2013). ‘Viewing in slow motion’: Patients’, families’, nurses’ and doctors’ perspectives on end‐of‐life care in critical care. Journal of Clinical Nursing , 22 (9-10), 1442-1454.

    Petrinec, A. B., Mazanec, P. M., Burant, C. J., Hoffer, A., & Daly, B. J. (2015). Coping strategies and posttraumatic stress symptoms in post-ICU family decision makers. Critical Care Medicine , 43 (6), 1205.

    Timmins, F., & Neill, F. (2013). Teaching nursing students about spiritual care–A review of the literature. Nurse Education in Practice , 1

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