Background Although some healthcare providers remain hesitant, family presence, defined as the presence of patients’ family members during resuscitation and/or invasive procedures, is becoming an accepted practice. Evidence indicates that family presence is beneficial to patients and their families.
Objectives To describe and compare the beliefs about and attitudes toward family presence of clinicians, patients’ families, and patients.
Methods Clinicians, patients’ families, and patients in the emergency department and adult and neonatal intensive care units of a 300-bed urban academic hospital were surveyed.
Results Surveys were completed by 202 clinicians, 72 family members, and 62 patients. Clinicians had positive attitudes toward family presence but had concerns about safety, the emotional responses of the family members, and performance anxiety. Nurses had more favorable attitudes toward family presence than physicians did. Patients and their families had positive attitudes toward family presence.
Conclusions Family presence is beneficial to patients, patients’ families, and healthcare providers. As family presence becomes a more accepted practice, healthcare providers will need to accommodate patients’ families at the bedside and address the barriers that impede the practice.