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Keywords:

  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
  • emergency nursing;
  • family presence;
  • family-centred care;
  • intensive care unit nursing;
  • nursing;
  • opinion

Abstract

Title. Presence of patients’ families during cardiopulmonary resuscitation: physicians’ and nurses’ opinions.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to determine the opinions of physicians and nurses who work in a university hospital intensive care unit and emergency department about the presence of patients’ families during cardiopulmonary resuscitation in these units.

Background.  Healthcare professionals have conflicting opinions about the presence of patients’ families during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Families who are allowed to be present have less fear and worry, feel they have supported their family member and are able to cope more easily.

Method.  The data for this descriptive questionnaire study were collected between November 2006 and January 2007. The respondents were 62 physicians and 82 nurses who worked in an emergency department or in cardiology or anaesthesia intensive care units in Turkey. The data were collected using a questionnaire and the responses summarized using frequencies and percentages. The chi-squared test was performed to test for differences in the opinion by profession, educational level, or number of years of working experience in the profession.

Findings.  The response rate was 79%. Of the respondents, 82·6% did not think it was appropriate for patients’ families to be present during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The most common concerns mentioned were that the family would interfere with the team’s activities (56·3%) and that resuscitation is a very traumatic procedure (43·6%).

Conclusion.  Policies need to be developed regarding this topic because the absence of policy can cause misunderstanding and differences in practice. Further research is needed to determine what public education is needed to facilitate implementation of such policies.