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Keywords:

  • critical care;
  • family satisfaction;
  • Intensive Care Unit;
  • Nursing Activities Score

Aim

To study family satisfaction with care in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and its association with nursing workload estimated by the Nursing Activities Score (NAS).

Background

Few previous studies have investigated the association between workload in ICUs and family satisfaction.

Methods

Family Satisfaction ICU 24 (FS ICU-24) questionnaires were distributed to 161 family members (106 respondents). Questionnaires’ score, NAS measurements and Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS-II) data were analysed.

Results

The mean total level of family satisfaction was equal to 80.72% (±9.59). Family members were more satisfied with the level of care compared with decision making. NAS values revealed a shortage of nurses in the morning shift. Moreover, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between NAS and total satisfaction after adjusting for age, length of stay and SAPS-II.

Conclusions

Improvements in clinical practice require the measurement of care quality which particularly includes family satisfaction. Our results indicated that family members were less satisfied with decision making.

Implications for nursing management

Nurse managers should plan for the successful involvement of family members in the decision-making process. Higher levels of nurse staffing might improve the care provided.