Nursing strategies to support family members of ICU patients at high risk of dying.

Journal Article

To explore how family members of ICU patients at high risk of dying respond to nursing communication strategies.Family members of ICU patients may face difficult decisions. Nurses are in a position to provide support. Evidence of specific strategies that nurses use to support decision-making and how family members respond to these strategies is lacking.This is a prospective, qualitative descriptive study involving the family members of ICU patients identified as being at high risk of dying.Family members described five nursing approaches: Demonstrating concern, building rapport, demonstrating professionalism, providing factual information, and supporting decision-making. This study provides evidence that when using these approaches, nurses helped family members to cope; to have hope, confidence, and trust; to prepare for and accept impending death; and to make decisions.Knowledge lays a foundation for interventions targeting the areas important to family members and most likely to improve their ability to make decisions and their well-being.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Adams, JA; Anderson, RA; Docherty, SL; Tulsky, JA; Steinhauser, KE; Bailey, DE

Published Date

  • September 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 406 - 415

PubMed ID

  • 24655938

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-3288

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0147-9563

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2014.02.001


  • eng