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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Open Journal of Nursing
Title Comparison of Nurses’ and Families’ Perception of Family Needs in Critical Care Unit at Referral Hospitals in Malawi
Author(s)
Volume 4
Issue 04
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 312-320
URL http://file.scirp.org/pdf/OJN_2014041814242439.pdf
Abstract
This study compared needs of family members as perceived by nurses and the family members
themselves. The study design was descriptive and utilized quantitative data collection and analysis
method. Nurses (n = 62) working in the Intensive Care Units (ICU) and High Dependency Units
(HDU) of three tertiary health facilities in Malawi at the time of the study consented to participate
in the study. In addition, family members (n = 62) who were looking after a critically sick relative
in the ICU and HDU in the same tertiary facilities consented and participated in the study. Data
were collected using a questionnaire developed from the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory for
a period of 7 days. STATA version 10 was used to analyze data. The rank correlation between the
mean scores of perceived needs across major need categories of support, comfort, information,
proximity and assurance between the nurses and family members was significantly different from
zero (r = 0.97, p = 0.005). Nurses and family members, respectively ranked assurance (90% and
92%) as the highest priority need, followed by information (78% and 85%) and comfort (78% and
84%) and then support (70% and 73%) and proximity (66% and 69%). The ranking however between
the 2 groups on 16 out of 45 individual needs were significantly different (p < 0.05). Among
the nurses, the rankings by registered nurses were significantly higher (p < 0.05) from those of
nurse midwife technicians. There were also significant differences (p < 0.05) in the mean scores
between the gender of family members with men demanding more “comfort” than females. Results
show a need for facility authorities to formulate ICU policies and strategies that ensure provision
of friendly services to family members of critically ill patients.

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