OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of two methods of meeting the information needs of families of critically ill patients: an open visiting hour policy and a family information booklet. SETTING: Medical intensive care unit of a university medical center. SUBJECTS: Family members (N = 147) of patients admitted to the medical intensive care unit. INTERVENTIONS: Implementation of an open visiting hour policy and information booklet. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Questionnaires were distributed to family members 24 to 48 hours after the patient's admission. The questionnaire addressed family satisfaction with having specific information needs met and posed questions that tested their knowledge of unit policies and personnel. The questionnaire was distributed to three groups: families who had restricted visiting hours and no booklet (group 1, n = 48), families who had open visiting hours but no booklet (group 2, n = 50), and families who had open visiting hours and an information booklet (Group 3, n = 49). Implementation of an open visiting hour policy increased family satisfaction. Families exposed to both the open visiting hours and the information booklet were more knowledgeable about specific details than were those exposed to only the open visiting hour policy. CONCLUSIONS: Flexible visiting hours and information booklets were two practical methods of meeting the information needs of families. Open visiting hours, as a singular intervention, significantly improved family satisfaction. The effectiveness of the booklet in assisting families to recall discrete pieces of information supports the further development and use of preprinted materials to assist in meeting family information needs.
An evaluation of interventions for meeting the information needs of families of critically ill patients
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EA Henneman, JB McKenzie, CS Dewa; An evaluation of interventions for meeting the information needs of families of critically ill patients. Am J Crit Care 1 November 1992; 1 (3): 85–93. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc19126.96.36.199
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