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
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.
This study examines the effectiveness of a patient-centered care and engagement program in the medical ICU | Critical Care Medicine
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.
Ednell, A-K. et al. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing. Published online: 21 February 2017
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.
Beckstrand, R. et al. (2017) Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing. 36(2) pp. 94–105
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.
Kjeldsen, C.L. et al. Nursing in Critical Care. Published online: 25 January 2017
Background: Because of changes in sedation strategies, more patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are conscious. Therefore, new and challenging tasks in nursing practice have emerged, which require a focus on the problems that patients experience. Thirst is one such major problem, arising because the mechanical ventilator prevents the patients from drinking when they have the urge to do so. To gain a deeper understanding of the patients’ experiences and to contribute new knowledge in nursing care, this study focuses on the patients’ experiences of thirst during mechanical ventilation (MV) while being conscious.
Conclusion: Patients associate feelings of desperation, anxiety and powerlessness with the experience of thirst. These feelings have a negative impact on their psychological well-being. A strategy in the ICU that includes no sedation for critically ill patients in need of MV introduces new demands on the nurses who must care for patients who are struggling with thirst.
Relevance to clinical practice: This study shows that despite several practical attempts to relieve thirst, it remains a paramount problem for the patients. ICU nurses need to increase their focus on issues of thirst and dry mouth, which are two closely related issues for the patients. Communication may be a way to involve the patients, recognize and draw attention to their problem.