Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 39, Issue 9, pp 1626–1634 | Cite as

Effect of intensive care environment on family and patient satisfaction: a before–after study

  • Irene P. Jongerden
  • Arjen J. Slooter
  • Linda M. Peelen
  • Hester Wessels
  • Colette M. Ram
  • Jozef Kesecioglu
  • Margriet M. Schneider
  • Diederik van Dijk



To determine to what extent intensive care unit environment affects family and patient satisfaction.


A before–after study was performed in one university hospital in The Netherlands, 2 months before and 2 months after the migration of an intensive care unit (ICU) with multiple beds on a ward to a newly built ICU with all single rooms. Family and patient satisfaction were determined by two surveys: family satisfaction with care in the ICU and patient satisfaction with care in the ICU, respectively.


From 387 of 617 (63 %) discharged patients at least one survey (patient and/or family) was returned. Both family and patients were more satisfied with their overall ICU experience in the new ICU as compared with the old ICU. Mean scores for family satisfaction increased from 69.5 [standard deviation (SD) 16.6] to 74.1 (SD 15.2) for old and new ICU, respectively (p = 0.02). For patients, satisfaction rates increased from 63.6 (SD 18.9) to 69.6 (SD 18.3) for old and new ICU, respectively (p = 0.02). The largest differences on single items of the surveys were noted on environmental aspects.


This is the first study to quantify the effect of ICU environment on family and patient satisfaction. Family and patient satisfaction with ICU experience increased by 6 % in the new ICU environment with noise-reduced, single rooms with daylight, adapted colouring and improved family facilities.


Intensive care units Patient satisfaction Family satisfaction Health facility environment Questionnaires 



The authors thank all patients and their families for filling in the surveys, and Marie-Louise Luiking for the back-translation of the FS-ICU.

Conflicts of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene P. Jongerden
    • 1
  • Arjen J. Slooter
    • 1
  • Linda M. Peelen
    • 2
  • Hester Wessels
    • 3
  • Colette M. Ram
    • 1
  • Jozef Kesecioglu
    • 1
  • Margriet M. Schneider
    • 4
  • Diederik van Dijk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Intensive Care MedicineUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary CareUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Corporate CommunicationsUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious DiseasesUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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