Background Debate continues among nurses about the advantages and disadvantages of family presence during resuscitation. Knowledge development about such family presence is constrained by the lack of reliable and valid instruments to measure key variables.

Objectives To test 2 instruments used to measure nurses’ perceptions of family presence during resuscitation, to explore demographic variables and perceptions of nurses’ self-confidence and the risks and benefits related to such family presence in a broad sample of nurses from multiple hospital units, and to examine differences in perceptions of nurses who have and who have not invited family presence.

Methods Nurses (n = 375) completed the Family Presence Risk-Benefit Scale and the Family Presence Self-confidence Scale.

Results Nurses’ perceptions of benefits, risks, and self-confidence were significantly and strongly interrelated. Nurses who invited family presence during resuscitation were significantly more self-confident in managing it and perceived more benefits and fewer risks (P < .001). Perceptions of more benefits and fewer risks were related to membership in professional organizations, professional certification, and working in an emergency department (P < .001). Data supported initial reliability and construct validity for the 2 scales.

Conclusions Nurses’ perceptions of the risks and benefits of family presence during resuscitation vary widely and are associated with how often the nurses invite family presence. After further testing, the 2 new scales may be suitable for measuring interventional outcomes, serve as self-assessment tools, and add to conceptual knowledge about family presence.

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