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adaptation-psychological, Critical Care Family Needs Inventory, critical care nursing, family-centered care, family-psychosocial factors, intensive care units, nurse-patient relations, professional-family relations, support-psychosocial



  1. Davidson, Judy E. DNP, RN, CNS, FCCM
  2. Daly, Barbara J. PhD, RN, FAAN
  3. Agan, Donna EdD
  4. Brady, Noreen R. PhD, RN, CNS, LPCC
  5. Higgins, Patricia A. PhD, RN


Family members of intensive care unit patients may develop anxiety, depression, and/or posttraumatic stress syndrome. Approaches to prevention are not well defined. Before testing preventive measures, it is important to evaluate which interventions the family will accept, use, and value. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of an intervention for support for families of mechanically ventilated adults, grounded in a new midrange nursing theory titled "Facilitated Sensemaking." Families were provided a kit of supplies and the primary investigator coached families on how to obtain information, interpret surroundings, and participate in care. Participants were asked to complete an adapted Critical Care Family Needs Inventory and Family Support Program evaluation. Family members of 30 patients consented to participate; 22 participants completed the surveys. Internal consistency reliability of the adapted Critical Care Family Needs Inventory was high ([alpha] = .96). Results validated the importance of informational needs and provided a score indicating the family member's perception of how well each need was met, weighted by importance, which identified performance improvement opportunities for use by clinical managers. The program evaluation confirmed that families will use this format of support and find it helpful. Personal care supplies (eg, lotion, lip balm) were universally well received. Forty-two referrals to ancillary service were made. Operational issues to improve services were identified. As proposed in the Facilitated Sensemaking model, family members welcomed interventions targeted to help make sense of the new situation and make sense of their new role as caregiver. Planned supportive interventions were perceived as helpful.