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Southern African Journal of Critical Care (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2078-676X
Print version ISSN 1562-8264


DE BEER, J  and  BRYSIEWICZ, P. The needs of family members of intensive care unit patients: A grounded theory study. South. Afr. j. crit. care (Online) [online]. 2016, vol.32, n.2, pp.44-49. ISSN 2078-676X.

BACKGROUND: The unexpected admission of a loved one to an intensive care unit (ICU) may have a negative effect on the everyday lives of family members, as they have had little time to adjust. Hence, it is imperative for healthcare professionals to promote optimal outcomes for both the patient and family members during admission for critical illness. OBJECTIVE: To explore and describe the needs of families during critical illness and to develop methods to provide family care during a critical illness of a loved one. METHODS: The Strauss and Corbin grounded theory approach was used. In-depth interviews with 16 intensive care nurses, 6 doctors and 9 family members in private and public settings were completed. RESULTS: Five codes emerged using the characteristic coding in grounded theory. These were identified as information sharing; reassurance; striving for consolation; garnering of resources; and cultural and religious co-operation. CONCLUSION: This study elicited the needs of family members of ICU patients. Methods tailored around these needs were presented to support family members during a critical illness.

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