• Patients’ family members may experience anxiety, depression, and symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress during their loved one’s critical illness.

  • Facilitated sensemaking is a new middle-range theory to guide nursing interventions to help patients’ family members make sense of what has happened and of their new roles.

  • Middle-range theories are developed to guide practice directly at the bedside.

  • Nurses are encouraged to test the theory by using research methods.

Mrs Garcia is visiting her husband in the intensive care unit (ICU). He is in a coma after a motor vehicle crash that resulted in head injury. She sits in the room hour after hour, rocking in the hard small chair, saying little, and wringing her hands in worry. Each time the alarms go off on the monitor, she startles in a vain attempt to locate the source of the sound and its meaning. She...

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