Needs of family members of critically ill patients: A comparison of nurses and family perceptions


Background and objective: Having a family member admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is stressful and confusing for family members. The aim of this study was to assess the perception of family members and nurses of their needs and whether those needs are met in four ICUs in Lebanon. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional design using the Arabic version of Critical Care Family Need Inventory (CCFNI) and the Needs Met Inventory (NMI) were utilized to investigate the needs of 50 family members of patients and 50 nurses. Results: Seventeen of 30 need items on the CCFNI were significantly different between family members and nurses mostly related to ‘Information’ and ‘Assurance’. Family members also varied significantly on 5 out of 30 items on the NMI mostly related to ‘Support’. There were significant differences in needs between family members in terms of gender, age, and education, and significant differences in perceived needs based on the gender, years of experience, and age of nurses. Conclusions: The findings provide insight for nurses to consider the different needs of families, the effect of socio-demographic variations when providing care, and to be attuned to the needs of family members for understandable information and assurance of the wellbeing of patients in ICUs.


Mirna Awni Fawaz