Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 11, pp 1913–1920 | Cite as

The views of patients and relatives of what makes a good intensivist: a European survey




This study examined the views of adult patients and relatives about desirable characteristics of specialists in intensive care medicine (ICM) to incorporate these into an international competency-based training programme, CoBaTrICE.


Convenience sample of patients and relatives administered after discharge from 70 participating ICUs in eight European countries (1,398 evaluable responses). The structured questionnaire included 21 characteristics of medical competence categorised as ‘medical knowledge and skills’, ‘communication with patients’, and ‘communication with relatives’. It was available in the national languages of the countries involved. Questions were rated by respondents for importance using a four-point Likert scale. Responses to open questions were also invited.


Most characteristics were highly rated, with priority given to medical knowledge and skills. Women were more likely to emphasise communication skills. There were no consistent regional differences. Free-text responses welcomed the opportunity to participate.


Patients and relatives with experience of intensive care in different European countries share similar views on the importance of knowledge, skills, decision making and communication in the training of intensive care specialists. These generic patient-centred components of training have been incorporated into the international competency-based ICM training programme, CoBaTrICE.


Intensive care Critical care Professional competence Training Physician-patient relations Professional-family relations 



We acknowledge with gratitude the contribution and support of the ICU directors, medical and nursing staff, patients and their relatives in the participating ICUs, who made this survey possible. Principal authors: Dr. A. Hasman, Dr. J. Askham (Picker Institute Europe); Dr. H.U. Rothen (CoBaTrICE National Coordinator, Switzerland); Dr. P. Berg (Department of Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland); Dr. J.F. Bion (CoBaTrICE Project lead), H. Reay (CoBaTrICE research nurse) on behalf of the CoBaTrICE Collaboration. Steering Committee Partners: A. Augier; D. d'Hoir (European Society of Intensive Care Medicine); J.F. Bion, H. Reay, J. Lonbay, S. Field, A. Bullock (University of Birmingham); J. Askham, A. Hasman, R. Reeves (Picker Institute Europe); I. Novak (Charles University); A. Kari, P. Mussalo (Intensium Oy). National Coordinators, ICU Directors and ICU Representatives: Czech Republic: V. Sramek (NC), V. Cerny (NCD), R. Parizkova, I. Novak, P. Potuckova, O. Marek, I. Chytra, P. Jiranek, Z. Veleba, C. Adamec, J. Manak; Denmark: E. Rønholm (NC), J.S. Hansen, D. Köhler, B. Rasmussen, A. Poulsen, K. Espersen, K.M. Larsen, K. Martinsen, H. Stougaard, K. Antonsen, N.E. Drenck, E. Peddersen, H. Joensen; Italy: F. Rubulotta and A. Gullo (NC), G. Iapichino, A. Pezzi, C. Anello Belluomo, M.L. Tuccillo, V. Lanza, A. Pigantaro, D. Carmelo, C. Quattrone, G.P. Giron, E. Facco, R. Alvisi, M. Capuzzo, R. De Gaudio, C. Adembri, M. Antonelli, G. Ferro, P. Piccini, N. Zamperetti; The Netherlands: A. van Zanten (NC), A. Girbes (NCD), K. de Blok, M. Petjak, C. Slagt, C. de Ridder, R.A.L. de Waal, J. Leijs, H. Ponssen, H. Joore, E. Smit; Poland: A. Mikstacki (NC), B. Tamowicz, M. Jurkiewicz, W. Gaszyñski, A. Kübler, M. Łukaszewski, A. Nestorowicz, J. Biernacka, L. Drobnik, M. Błaszyk, R. Szulc, A. Pytliński, J. Nadolski, J. Tyczka, D. Maciejewski, E. Łoniewska-Palecnzy, J. Bojko, K. Wojciech; Spain: G. Gonzalez Diaz (NC), P. Monedero (NCD), L. Blanch (NCD), M. del Bañ Aledo, R. Peyro Garcia, G. Gomá, M. Maluenda, J. Blanco Varela, V. Fraile Gutierrez, L.I. Cabré Pericas, G. Carrasco Gómez, M.V. de la Torre-Prados, L. Rucabado Aguilar, J. Garcia Pardo; Switzerland: H.U. Rothen (NC), M. Maggiorini (NCD), P. Berg, C. Jenni, M. Laube, P. Mandorff, D. Ryser, R. Stocker, A. Haller, R. Chiolero, J.-P. Revelly, P. Eckert, R. Lussmann; United Kingdom: K. Gunning (NC), J.F. Bion, S. Desai, J. Hurst, M. Blunt, C. Underwood, B. Appadu, A. Vuylsteke, F. Bottrill, I. Crabb, P. Nightingale, D. Downs, C. Danbury, C. Jones. CoBaTrICE Nominal Group: A. Armaganidis (Greece), U. Bartels (Germany), P. Ferdinande (Belgium), V. Gasparovic (Croatia), C. Gomersall (Hong Kong), S. Iyer (India), A. Larsson (Denmark), M. Parker (United States), J.A. Romand (Switzerland), F. Rubulotta (Italy), J. Scholes (United Kingdom); A. van Zanten (The Netherlands). CoBaTrICE Editorial Working Group: J. Bion (Chair), L. Blanch (Spain), C. Gillbe (United Kingdom), T. Gondos (Hungary), D. Grimaldi (France), T. Kyprianou (Cyprus), D. McAuley (United Kingdom), A. Mikstacki (Poland), I. Novak (Czech Republic), D. Phelan (Ireland), G Ramsey (The Netherlands), E. Ronholm (Denmark), H.U. Rothen (Switzerland). Sponsors: CoBaTrICE is supported by a grant from the European Union, Leonardo da Vinci Programme. Additional supporters: ESICM, SCCM, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer (HK), and State Secretariat for Education and Research, Switzerland. This research project is supported by the European Critical Care Research Network (ECCRN) of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ESICMBrusselsBelgium

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