Family presence during resuscitation was introduced into clinical practice 30 years ago. Despite adoption of family-centered care by several health organizations and support for family presence during resuscitation by professional organizations such as the American Heart Association, critical care nurses’ attitudes about family presence during resuscitation vary widely.


To examine current evidence on critical care nurses’ attitudes about, perceptions of, and behaviors related to practicing family presence during resuscitation.


The method of Whittemore and Knafl guided the integrative review. Databases searched were CINAHL, PubMed, and Scopus. Articles included were English-language studies published from 2008 to 2022 that examined the perceptions of critical and emergency care nurses from adult units regarding family presence during resuscitation.


Twenty-two articles were included. Levels and strength of evidence were assessed with the Johns Hopkins nursing evidence-based model. The articles in this integrative review included a total sample size of 4780 health care professionals; 3808 were critical and acute care nurses.


Themes synthesized from current evidence included attitudes, benefits, barriers, demographic influence, cultural influence, and facilitators. Barriers and facilitators were associated with nursing practice in rural versus urban settings, age-related factors, years of experience, and unit-based differences in practice. Developing interventions to address identified factors can increase the practice of family presence during resuscitation in critical care settings.


Several factors influence the practice of family presence during resuscitation in critical care settings. Nurse leaders should consider these factors to enhance the practice of family presence during resuscitation.

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