Family members of critically ill adult patients can experience major psychological and physiological stress. Despite family research over the past 2 decades that indicates patient information and geographic proximity are highly ranked needs, many intensive care units (ICU) still have moderately restrictive visitation policies. Jacob and colleagues surveyed 45 family members who had a family member hospitalized in a neuroscience ICU that provides continuous family visitation (24 hours/day), family suites adjacent to patient rooms, and a family coordinator to assist family members. The researchers found the most important needs were related to the following:

The ranking of needs did not differ from research in ICUs with limited visitation, but what did differ is that family members stated their needs were met at a high level. The researchers suggest an unrestrictive visitation policy and supportive physical environment for family presence could greatly meet family needs.

See Article, pp 118–125

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