My colleagues and I read with interest the article by Duran and colleagues.11 Based on the positive experience of Meyers et al,22 we conducted our own descriptive, qualitative study between June and July 2002 that included staff of emergency wards or intensive care units and relatives of in-patients in the same departments in the Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi, a 1700-bed university urban hospital here in Florence. The aim of the study was to explore the attitudes of healthcare workers and relatives about this important practice among adult patients in a cultural setting that is characterized by marked tragic and hypercritical features.33 

We examined 360 questionnaires (230 were completed by relatives, 45 by physicians, and 96 by nurses). We found that 80.7% of healthcare workers were not favorable toward family presence (no significant difference...

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