Family experiences of patients admitted in intensive care unit (ICU)

Jahangir Maghsoudi, Farshad Soltani, Saeid Pahlavanzade, Khosro Tavakol


Background: The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is one of the most stressful places for families thus; admission of a patient in
this unit will influence other members of family and their functions. According to continuous presence of researcher in
this ward, observing the stresses and concerning of the patients’ families and considering the valuable role of the experiences
of the family in planning and caring of the patients, attention to their needs and roles at the time of illness has
an essential importance. This study was aimed to describe the experiences (physical, psychological, social and spiritual)
of the family of the patients who are admitted in ICU.
Methods: This study was a qualitative research thus; the method was based on descriptive phenomenology. The sampling
method was purposive and it was continued until the saturation of data. Fourteen family members of patients in ICU,
who attended the including criteria, were selected and interviewed. The findings were analyzed using the seven-step
Colaizzi method
Results: Findings showed that when a patient is admitted in ICU, his/her family members experience severe stresses
which these experiences are described in physical, emotional, psychological and social concepts. Also, there were increasing
and decreasing factors that influence their experiences.
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, the physicians, nurses and other care providers can decline these
stresses by suitable therapeutic interventions. While adapting the family members, they guide the families in safe and
right direction.
Key words: Experiences, family with hospitalized patient, intensive care unit

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