Family members of intensive care unit (ICU) patients are sometimes highly distressed and report lower satisfaction with communication and emotional support from staff. Within a study of emotional responses to traumatic stress, associations between family distress and satisfaction with aspects of ICU care were investigated.In 29 family members of trauma patients who stayed in an ICU, we assessed symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during ICU care. Later, family members rated staff communication, support, and skills and their overall satisfaction with ICU care.Ratings of staff competence and skills were significantly higher than ratings of frequency of communication, information needs being met, and support. Frequency of communication and information needs being met were strongly related to ratings of support (rs = .75-.77) and staff skills (rs = .77-.85), and aspects of satisfaction and communication showed negative relationships with symptoms of depression (rs = -.31 to -.55) and PTSD (rs = -.17 to -.43).Although satisfaction was fairly high, family member distress was negatively associated with several satisfaction variables. Increased understanding of the effects of traumatic stress on family members may help staff improve communication and increase satisfaction of highly distressed family members.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcrc.2015.01.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000353400100023
View details for PubMedID 25682345