Evidence shows that the unrestricted presence and participation of a support person can enhance patient and family satisfaction, because it improves the safety of care. This is especially true in the intensive care unit (ICU), where the patients are usually intubated and cannot speak for themselves. Unrestricted presence of a support person can improve communication, facilitate a better understanding of the patient, advance patient- and family-centered care, and enhance staff satisfaction.

Level A Meta-analysis of quantitative studies or metasynthesis of qualitative studies with results that consistently support a specific action, intervention, or treatment

Level B Well-designed, controlled studies with results that consistently support a specific action, intervention, or treatment

Level C Qualitative studies, descriptive or correlational studies, integrative reviews, systematic reviews, or randomized controlled trials with inconsistent results

Level D Peer-reviewed professional organizational standards with clinical studies to support recommendations

Level E Multiple...

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