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Identifying improvement opportunities for patient- and family-centered care in the ICU: Using qualitative methods to understand family perspectives

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  • Anne Sophie Ågård
  • José Hofhuis, Department of Intensive Care Medicine Gelre Hospitals Apeldoorn, Apeldoorn, Netherlands
  • Matti Koopmans, Center of Intensive Care, Medisch Centrum Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, Netherlands
  • Rik Gerritsen, Center of Intensive Care, Medisch Centrum Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, Netherlands
  • Peter Spronk, University of Amsterdam, Department of Intensive Care Medicine Gelre Hospitals Apeldoorn, Apeldoorn, Netherlands
  • Ruth A. Engelberg, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence. University of Washington, Seattle, United States
  • J. Randall Curtis, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence. University of Washington, Seattle, United States
  • Jan G. Zijlstra, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  • Hanne Irene Jensen, Anæstesiologisk Afdeling, Sygehus Lillebælt, Vejle, Institut for Regional Sundhedstjenesteforskning, Denmark

Purpose: The purposes of the study were to provide richer context for families’ quantitative assessments of the quality of ICU care, and to describe further quality areas of importance for family members. Materials and methods: Free-text comments from 1077 family members of 920 patients focusing on family evaluation of ICU quality of care were analyzed using content analysis. Twenty-one Danish and Dutch ICUs participated from October 2014 to June 2015. Results: Four themes emerged as important to families: information, clinician skills, ICU environment, and discharge from the ICU. Families highlighted the importance of receiving information that was accessible, understandable and honest. They indicated that quality care was ensured by having clinicians who were both technically and interpersonally competent. The ICU environment and the circumstances of the transfer out of the ICU were described as contributing to quality of care. The comments identified room for improvement within all themes. Conclusions: The study highlights the importance of including both technical and emotional care for patients and families and the consequent need to focus on clinicians’ mastery of interpersonal skills.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Volume49
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
ISSN0883-9441
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

    Research areas

  • Pårørende, Intensivafdeling, family-centred care, Family-centred care, euroQ2, euroQODD, Family satisfaction, ICU, euroFS-ICU, Quality of care, Content analysis, MEMBERS, RELATIVES, UNIT PATIENTS, VALIDATION, POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS, EXPERIENCES, SATISFACTION, HIGH-RISK, NEEDS, CRITICALLY-ILL PATIENTS

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