Psychosocial Needs of Patient’s Relatives and Health Care Providers in a Pediatric Critical Care Unit
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To describe the needs of relatives of children admitted to an Intensive Care Unit and compare their needs with the perspectives of doctors, nurses and administrators.
This is a descriptive comparative study done at a tertiary care PICU from South India. A modified Critical Care Family Needs Inventory (CCFNI) (internal consistency reliability =0.93) was used to assess the needs of 35 family members, 30 nurses, 30 doctors and 30 administrators. Four needs pertaining to developing countries were included. Their responses were ranked by means and analysed by multivariate analysis of variance.
The responses were significantly different between the groups for 13 needs (28%) and two domain items of proximity and support. Needs of relatives correlated with doctors more strongly than with nurses (rs = 0.80 vs. 0.68; p < 0.001). No significant difference was found between the perceived needs of family members and hospital staff for assurance, information and comfort. Both doctors and administrators underestimated the proximity needs but overestimated the support needs of relatives.
The CCFNI with minor modifications can be used in developing countries for assessing the needs of families of children in ICU. Making sure that the relative feels assured about the care given to the child and timely information regarding the child’s condition, are the two most important domains from the perspective of family members and hospital staff. Meeting these needs might help family members to cope better and be more supportive to their critically ill child.