Information or education interventions for adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients and their carers

This research by Lewis and colleagues was published in the Cochrane database of systematic reviews in October 2018.
Backgcochrane-57-1round:  During intensive care unit (ICU) admission, patients and their carers experience physical and psychological stressors that may result in psychological conditions including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Improving communication between healthcare professionals, patients, and their carers may alleviate these disorders. Communication may include information or educational interventions, in different formats, aiming to improve knowledge of the prognosis, treatment, or anticipated challenges after ICU discharge.
Objectives:  To assess the effects of information or education interventions for improving outcomes in adult ICU patients and their carers.
Search Methods:  We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and PsycINFO from database inception to 10 April 2017. We searched clinical trials registries and grey literature, and hand searched reference lists of included studies and related reviews.
Selection Criteria:  We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), and planned to include quasi-RCTs, comparing information or education interventions presented to participants versus no information or education interventions, or comparing information or education interventions as part of a complex intervention versus a complex intervention without information or education. We included participants who were adult ICU patients, or their carers; these included relatives and non-relatives, including significant representatives of patients.
Data Collection and Analysis:  Two review authors independently assessed studies for inclusion, extracted data, assessed risk of bias, and applied GRADE criteria to assess certainty of the evidence.
Main Results:  We included eight RCTs with 1157 patient participants and 943 carer participants. We found no quasi-RCTs. We identified seven studies that await classification, and three ongoing studies.  Three studies designed an intervention targeted at patients, four at carers, and one at both patients and carers. Studies included varied information: standardised or tailored, presented once or several times, and that included verbal or written information, audio recordings, multimedia information, and interactive information packs. Five studies reported robust methods of randomisation and allocation concealment. We noted high attrition rates in five studies. It was not feasible to blind participants, and we rated all studies as at high risk of performance bias, and at unclear risk of detection bias because most outcomes required self reporting.  We attempted to pool data statistically, however this was not always possible due to high levels of heterogeneity. We calculated mean differences (MDs) using data reported from individual study authors where possible, and narratively synthesised the results. We reported the following two comparisons.  Information or education intervention versus no information or education intervention (4 studies)For patient anxiety, we did not pool data from three studies (332 participants) owing to unexplained substantial statistical heterogeneity and possible clinical or methodological differences between studies. One study reported less anxiety when an intervention was used (MD -3.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) -3.38 to -3.02), and two studies reported little or no difference between groups (MD -0.40, 95% CI -4.75 to 3.95; MD -1.00, 95% CI -2.94 to 0.94). Similarly, for patient depression, we did not pool data from two studies (160 patient participants). These studies reported less depression when an information or education intervention was used (MD -2.90, 95% CI -4.00 to -1.80; MD -1.27, 95% CI -1.47 to -1.07). However, it is uncertain whether information or education interventions reduce patient anxiety or depression due to very low-certainty evidence.  It is uncertain whether information or education interventions improve health-related quality of life due to very low-certainty evidence from one study reporting little or no difference between intervention groups (MD -1.30, 95% CI -4.99 to 2.39; 143 patient participants). No study reported adverse effects, knowledge acquisition, PTSD severity, or patient or carer satisfaction.  We used the GRADE approach and downgraded certainty of the evidence owing to study limitations, inconsistencies between results, and limited data from few small studies.  Information or education intervention as part of a complex intervention versus a complex intervention without information or education (4 studies)One study (three comparison groups; 38 participants) reported little or no difference between groups in patient anxiety (tailored information pack versus control: MD 0.09, 95% CI -3.29 to 3.47; standardised general ICU information versus control: MD -0.25, 95% CI -4.34 to 3.84), and little or no difference in patient depression (tailored information pack versus control: MD -1.26, 95% CI -4.48 to 1.96; standardised general ICU information versus control: MD -1.47, 95% CI -6.37 to 3.43). It is uncertain whether information or education interventions as part of a complex intervention reduce patient anxiety and depression due to very low-certainty evidence.  One study (175 carer participants) reported fewer carer participants with poor comprehension among those given information (risk ratio 0.28, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.53), but again this finding is uncertain due to very low-certainty evidence.  Two studies (487 carer participants) reported little or no difference in carer satisfaction; it is uncertain whether information or education interventions as part of a complex intervention increase carer satisfaction due to very low-certainty evidence. Adverse effects were reported in only one study: one participant withdrew because of deterioration in mental health on completion of anxiety and depression questionnaires, but the study authors did not report whether this participant was from the intervention or comparison group.  We downgraded certainty of the evidence owing to study limitations, and limited data from few small studies.  No studies reported severity of PTSD, or health-related quality of life.
Authors’ Conclusions:  We are uncertain of the effects of information or education interventions given to adult ICU patients and their carers, as the evidence in all cases was of very low certainty, and our confidence in the evidence was limited.  Ongoing studies may contribute more data and introduce more certainty when incorporated into future updates of the review.
The full text of this Cochrane Review is freely available via this link to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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Measuring patient respect in the intensive care unit: Validation of the ICU-RESPECT instrument

This research by Geller and colleagues was published in the Journal of Critical Care in August 2018.
Purpose:  To validate a brief index of patient and family experiences of respect in the intensive care unit.
Material and Methods:  A survey including the 10-item ICU-RESPECT scale was administered to patients and family members in one ICU at a large west coast academic medical center. Confirmatory psychometric analyses were conducted.
Results:  Based on 142 completed surveys, factor analysis confirmed a unidimensional scale with an alpha of 0.90, an Eigen value of 4.9, and factor loadings from 0.50 to 0.86. The mean total score was 7.59 (SD = 3.06) out of a maximum of 10. Among the 106 surveys that included demographics, overall scores did not differ by type of respondent (patient or family) or by gender. There were modest differences in overall scores by patient race. Two individual items differed by type of respondent.
Conclusions:  The ICU-RESPECT index demonstrates reliability and concurrent validity in a different ICU setting from the one where the index was developed. Future research should assess the scale’s predictive validity, and factors associated with variation in scores. As hospitals address patient experience more broadly in response to national metrics, the index could identify particular behaviors or ICUs that would benefit from interventions to enhance respectful treatment.
To access the full text of this article via the journal’s homepage you require a personal subscription to the journal.  Some articles may be available freely without a password.  Library members can order individual articles via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service using the article requests online via this link.

Economic Evaluation of a Patient-Directed Music Intervention for ICU Patients Receiving Mechanical Ventilatory Support

This article by Chlan and colleagues was published in the May issue of Critical Care Medicine.
Objectives:  Music intervention has been shown to reduce anxiety and sedative exposure among mechanically ventilated patients. Whether music intervention reduces ICU costs is not known. The aim of this study was to examine ICU costs for patients receiving a patient-directed music intervention compared with patients who received usual ICU care.
Design:  A cost-effectiveness analysis from the hospital perspective was conducted to determine if patient-directed music intervention was cost-effective in improving patient-reported anxiety. Cost savings were also evaluated. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses determined the influence of input variation on the cost-effectiveness.
Setting:  Midwestern ICUs.
Patients:  Adult ICU patients from a parent clinical trial receiving mechanical ventilatory support.
Interventions:  Patients receiving the experimental patient-directed music intervention received a MP3 player, noise-canceling headphones, and music tailored to individual preferences by a music therapist.
Measurements and main results:  The base case cost-effectiveness analysis estimated patient-directed music intervention reduced anxiety by 19 points on the Visual Analogue Scale-Anxiety with a reduction in cost of $2,322/patient compared with usual ICU care, resulting in patient-directed music dominance. The probabilistic cost-effectiveness analysis found that average patient-directed music intervention costs were $2,155 less than usual ICU care and projected that cost saving is achieved in 70% of 1,000 iterations. Based on break-even analyses, cost saving is achieved if the per-patient cost of patient-directed music intervention remains below $2,651, a value eight times the base case of $329.
Conclusions:  Patient-directed music intervention is cost-effective for reducing anxiety in mechanically ventilated ICU patients.
To access the full text of these articles via the journal’s homepage you require a personal subscription to the journal.  Some articles may be available freely without a password.  Library members can order individual articles via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service using the article requests online via this link.

Satisfaction with quality of ICU care for patients and families

Families’ perspectives are of great importance in evaluating quality of care in the intensive care unit (ICU). This Danish-Dutch study tested a European adaptation of the “Family Satisfaction in the ICU” (euroFS-ICU) | Critical Care

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Image source: Ricardo Díaz – Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The aim of the study was to examine assessments of satisfaction with care in a large cohort of Danish and Dutch family members and to examine the measurement characteristics of the euroFS-ICU.

Most family members were moderately or very satisfied with patient care, family care, information and decision-making, but areas with room for improvement were also identified. Psychometric assessments suggest that composite scores constructed from these items as representations of either overall satisfaction or satisfaction with specific sub-domains do not meet rigorous measurement standards. The euroFS-ICU and other similar instruments may benefit from adding reflective indicators.

Full reference: Jensen, H.I. et al. (2017) Satisfaction with quality of ICU care for patients and families: the euroQ2 project. Critical Care. 21:239

A Multifaceted Intervention to Improve Outcomes in Intensive Care

This study examines the effectiveness of a patient-centered care and engagement program in the medical ICU | Critical Care Medicine

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Interventions: Structured patient-centered care and engagement training program and web-based technology including ICU safety checklist, tools to develop shared care plan, and messaging platform. Patient and care partner access to online portal to view health information, participate in the care plan, and communicate with providers.

Measurements and Main Results: Primary outcome was aggregate adverse event rate. Secondary outcomes included patient and care partner satisfaction, care plan concordance, and resource utilization. We included 2,105 patient admissions, (1,030 baseline and 1,075 during intervention periods). The aggregate rate of adverse events fell 29%, from 59.0 per 1,000 patient days (95% CI, 51.8-67.2) to 41.9 per 1,000 patient days (95% CI, 36.3-48.3; p < 0.001), during the intervention period. Satisfaction improved markedly from an overall hospital rating of 71.8 (95% CI, 61.1-82.6) to 93.3 (95% CI, 88.2-98.4; p < 0.001) for patients and from 84.3 (95% CI, 81.3-87.3) to 90.0 (95% CI, 88.1-91.9; p < 0.001) for care partners. No change in care plan concordance or resource utilization.

Conclusions: Implementation of a structured team communication and patient engagement program in the ICU was associated with a reduction in adverse events and improved patient and care partner satisfaction.

Full reference: Dykes, P. et al. (2017) Prospective Evaluation of a Multifaceted Intervention to Improve Outcomes in Intensive Care: The Promoting Respect and Ongoing Safety Through Patient Engagement Communication and Technology Study. Critical Care Medicine. Published online: 3rd May 2017

The ICU patient diary–A nursing intervention that is complicated in its simplicity

Ednell, A-K. et al. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing. Published online: 21 February 2017

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Background: Writing a diary for intensive care patients has been shown to facilitate patient recovery and prevent post-traumatic stress following hospitalisation.

Aim: This study aimed to describe the experiences of critical care nurses’ (CCNs’) in writing personal diaries for ICU patients.

Conclusion: CCNs are aware of the diary’s importance for the patient and relatives, but experience difficulties in deciding which patients should get this intervention and how to prioritize it. Writing a personal diary for an ICU patient is a nursing intervention that is complicated in its simplicity.

Read the full abstract here

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.

Read the full abstract here