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VOLUME 25 , ISSUE 5 ( May, 2021 ) > List of Articles


Continuous Family Access to the Intensive Care Unit: A Mixed Method Exploratory Study

Rubina Mahajan, Suvidha Gupta, Gagandeep Singh, Ramit Mahajan, Parshotam L Gautam

Citation Information : Mahajan R, Gupta S, Singh G, Mahajan R, Gautam PL. Continuous Family Access to the Intensive Care Unit: A Mixed Method Exploratory Study. Indian J Crit Care Med 2021; 25 (5):540-550.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23805

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-05-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Introduction: Intensive care unit (ICU) visitation has traditionally been restrictive, primarily due to septic considerations and staff apprehension towards unrestricted visitation policy. However, ICU admission is stressful for patients and their families and the presence of family relatives at ICU patients’ bedside may help alleviate the same. The present study compares the viewpoints of healthcare workers (HCW) and patients’ family members regarding these two types of visitation policies. Materials and methods: The initial assessment involved a qualitative investigation, based on an inductive grounded theory approach. Participant interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, manually coded, themes analyzed, and aggregate dimensions unfolded. Subsequently, a structured proforma filled by stakeholders and responses were coded as categorical variables (quantitative investigation). Their association with a continuous presence of family members was seen using univariate analysis (Chi-square test) and p <0.05 was considered significant. Satisfaction levels were rated on a Likert scale. Results: Eighty-six stakeholders [group A: HCWs (15 doctors, 29 nurses), group B: patients (n = 18), and their relatives (n = 24)] were interviewed. While group A preferred restricted visitation policy (RVP), group B preferred unrestricted visitation policy (UVP). Quantitative data confirmed that HCWs (92.8% nurses and 85.7% doctors) were more satisfied with RVP and group B (92.3% relatives and 87.5% patients) with UVP. Group A (75.9% nurses and 93.3% doctors) therefore preferred RVP and group B (75% families and 66.6% patients) preferred UVP. Conclusion: The patients and their families were more satisfied with UVP contrary to HCWs who were skeptical towards UVP and preferred RVP.

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