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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Needs of family members of critically ill brain-injured patients during the ICU experience FitzGerald, Patricia Anne


This descriptive exploratory study was designed to determine the perceived importance of selected needs of family members of critically ill brain-injured patients. In addition, the personal/demographic factors which may have influenced the needs of these family members were investigated, as well as the reasons family members perceived these needs as important or unimportant. A convenience sample of one family member for each of 15 critically ill brain-injured patients was selected from two tertiary care hospitals and the community. Family members were interviewed using a pre-determined interview guide and asked to verbally rate 20 need statements on a four-point Likert-type scale. Generally, family members perceived all 20 needs to be important. However, the importance of each need was influenced by the family members' personal/demographic factors. No significant statistical relationship was found between personal/demographic factors and the family members' perceptions of the importance of selected needs. However, the findings of the study suggest that family members relate their needs to their present experience, and thus individual assessment of family members' needs is crucial.

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