Psychological and information need of the family members of critically ill patients

Chiang, V.C.L. et al. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing | Published online: 21 April 2017

Background: Intensive care nurses may have an important role in empowering families by providing psychological support and fulfilling the family’s pivotal need for information.

 

Conclusion: The results suggest that use of ‘education of family by tab’ is promising for intensive care nurses to provide psychological support for family members. More studies are needed to investigate this aspect of family care for better psychological support and information need satisfaction that contributes to the evidence-based practice of intensive care nursing.

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Implementing EBP: in-hospital family-witnessed cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Sak-Dankosky, N. Nursing in Critical Care. Published online: 9 April 2017

Background: In-hospital, family-witnessed cardiopulmonary resuscitation of adults has been found to help patients’ family members deal with the short- and long-term emotional consequences of resuscitation. Because of its benefits, many national and international nursing and medical organizations officially recommend this practice. Research, however, shows that family-witnessed resuscitation is not widely implemented in clinical practice, and health care professionals generally do not favour this recommendation.

Conclusion: Despite existing evidence revealing the positive influence of family-witnessed resuscitation on patients, relatives and cardiopulmonary resuscitation process, Finnish and Polish health care providers cited a number of personal and organizational barriers against this practice. The results of this study begin to examine reasons why family-witnessed resuscitation has not been widely implemented in practice. In order to successfully apply current evidence-based resuscitation guidelines, provider concerns need to be addressed through educational and organizational changes.

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Critical Care Nurses’ Perceptions of End-of-Life Care Obstacles

Beckstrand, R. et al. (2017) Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing. 36(2) pp. 94–105

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Abstract: Background: Nurses working in intensive care units (ICUs) frequently care for patients and their families at the end of life (EOL). Providing high-quality EOL care is important for both patients and families, yet ICU nurses face many obstacles that hinder EOL care. Researchers have identified various ICU nurse-perceived obstacles, but no studies have been found addressing the progress that has been made for the last 17 years.

Conclusions: Obstacles in EOL care, as perceived by critical care nurses, still exist. Family-related obstacles have increased over time. Obstacles related to families may not be easily overcome as each family, dealing with a dying family member in an ICU, likely has not previously experienced a similar situation. On the basis of the current top 5 obstacles, recommendations for possible areas of focus include (1) improved health literacy assessment of families followed by earlier directed, appropriate, and specific EOL information; (2) improved physician/team communication; and (3) ensuring patients’ wishes are followed as written. In general, patient- and family-centered care using clear and open EOL communication regarding wishes and desires between patients and families, their physicians, and nurses will help decrease common obstacles, thus improving the quality of EOL care provided to dying patients and families.

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How nurses support families of intensive care patients towards the end of life

Families of people dying in intensive care need to receive personalised communication and ongoing support, and be involved in the dying process | NIHR

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Researchers gathered evidence on how nurses care for patients and their families in intensive care when life-sustaining treatment is withdrawn. The included studies explored the care of the family before, during and after the process. Most of the studies in this small, mixed methods review were qualitative.

Reviewers identified three main ways, or themes, in which families are supported. First, information and good communication, such as the focus on careful use of language, was seen commonly. Second, by careful management of treatment withdrawal itself, for example by clarifying the gradual change expected when medically focussed life-sustaining treatments are withdrawn and family centred end-of-life care begins. Lastly they described a common focus on making the nursing contribution more visible, such as using techniques to build lasting memories for families.

 

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Supporting Siblings of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Patients

Morrison, A. & Gullón-Riveraemail, A.L. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. Published online: December 12 2016

life-862967_960_720.jpgHighlights:

  • The article discusses the benefit of a Social Story™ to support siblings as an intervention approach within the NICU.
  • The Social Story™ approach is unique and differs from the formats of current children’s books about NICU.
  • This article provides an example of a NICU Social Story™ ready to implement with siblings of NICU patients.
  • Child Life Specialists can utilize Social Stories™ as educational tool to provide sibling and family support.

Read the abstract here

Family Stress in Pediatric Critical Care

Hagstrom, S. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. Published online: 21 November 2016

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Highlights

  • Separation was a primary source of stress for mothers with children at home.
  • The child’s illness and its potential effect on the future added to family stress.
  • Despite being told what to expect, families did not feel prepared for changes.
  • Parents reported a relationship between stress and uncertainty about the outcome.
  • Family context must be considered when assessing the stress of PICU hospitalization.

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Parents’ experience of a follow-up meeting after a child’s death in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit

Brink, H.L. et al. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing. Published online: 12 August 2016

Objective: ‘To identify parents’ experience of a follow up meeting and to explore whether the conversation was adequate to meet the needs of parents for a follow-up after their child’s death in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Design and setting: Qualitative method utilising semi-structured interviews with six pairs of parents 2–12 weeks after the follow-up conversation. The interviews were held in the parents’ homes at their request. Data were analysed using a qualitative, descriptive approach and thematic analysis.

Findings: Four main themes emerged: (i) the way back to the PICU; (ii) framework; (iii) relations and (iv) closure.

Conclusion: The parents expressed nervousness before the meeting, but were all pleased to have participated in these follow-up meetings. The parents found it meaningful that the follow-up meeting was interdisciplinary, since the parents could have answers to their questions both about treatment and care. It was important that the staff involved in the follow-up meeting were those who had been present through the hospitalisation and at the time of the child’s death. Parents experienced the follow-up meeting as being a closure of the course in the PICU, regardless the length of the hospitalisation.

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