Intensive care medicine vol:27 issue:1 pages:160-5
OBJECTIVES: This study investigated differences between the perceptions of relatives, physicians and nurses concerning the needs of relatives of critical care patients. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Perceived needs were assessed in 200 relatives, 38 physicians, and 143 nurses using a 45-item questionnaire. SETTING: Data were gathered at the intensive care unit of the University Hospital Gasthuisberg. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The overall rankings of the needs by the three groups are very similar. Information emerges as most important factor, with considerably less importance attached to comfort and support. There were significant differences between the groups on all categories and on 24 individual needs. Regarding the need categories, both nurses and physicians underestimate the relatives' need for information and proximity to the patient. Physicians also underestimate the relatives' need for assurance. On the individual need items, relatives' needs are generally underestimated by the staff, but in some cases overestimations are found.