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

Journal Article

Objectives: To explore how family members of ICU patients at high risk of dying respond to nursing communication strategies. Background: 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. Methods: This is a prospective, qualitative descriptive study involving the family members of ICU patients identified as being at high risk of dying. Results: 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. Conclusion: 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. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

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

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 406 - 415

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

Citation Source

  • Scopus