Family members and close friends of patients undergoing mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit (ICU) often experience stress and a sense of helplessness. Participating in the care of their loved one may improve their adaptation to the ICU environment and better prepare them for caregiving after discharge.


The primary aim of this study was to develop the Family Willingness for Caregiving Scale (FWCS) and test its psychometric properties. The secondary aim was to examine relationships between family members’ demographic characteristics and caregiving willingness.


The process of scale development followed DeVellis’s 8-step method, and the scale was tested in 3 phases. The first 2 phases examined content validity and face validity, respectively. In phase 3, the FWCS was administered to a sample of family members currently visiting an ICU patient.


Content validity and face validity were confirmed. The internal consistency reliability of the scale was acceptable, and exploratory factor analysis revealed a 1-factor structure comprising both physical and emotional/supportive care tasks. Caregiving willingness differed significantly by sex, with women reporting greater willingness than men reported.


Further testing of the FWCS is needed. After refinement, the FWCS could be used to evaluate factors contributing to caregiving willingness of family members of ICU patients and advance the science related to family engagement in the ICU. Additionally, it could be used as a practical tool to suggest family caregiving activities in the ICU.

You do not currently have access to this content.