Discharge from critical care to a general care unit is a difficult period, and more effective information is needed to support patients and their families at this time.


This study sought the views of patients, relatives and health care staff on (1) the most effective methods of delivering critical care discharge information, (2) the required information content of any proposed strategies, (3) the benefits and limitations of any existing strategies, and (4) potential resource implications.


In this qualitative focus group study, 11 adult patients, 8 family members, and 23 health care staff in Eng-land took part in 8 focus group interviews at 2 hospitals. The computer software program NVIVO7 was used for thematic analysis of the data.


Three key themes were identified from the data: (1) considerations related to effective discharge information, (2) goals of critical care discharge information, and (3) resource implications.


This focus group study provides unique user insight into what influences successful and unsuccessful information giving. Based on real experiences, it adds to the limited international body of current evidence. Findings will be of value in designing future critical care discharge information and identifying the related resource implications.

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