Family satisfaction in a neuro trauma ICU

Matthew J. Peterson, Theo Woerhle, Melissa Harry, Anna Mae C. Heger, Mary Gerchman-Smith, Linda Vogel, Carolyn Hughes, Catherine McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this quality improvement initiative was to evaluate satisfaction of family members of patients in a neuro trauma ICU (NTICU). Methods: Adult patients (age 18+) admitted to the NTICU for at least 24 hours between June 2017 and November 2018 were identified. Near or at the time of discharge from the NTICU, the health unit coordinator or registered nurse identified the family member who was either the next-of-kin, surrogate decision-maker, or person who had been most frequently present at the patient's bedside. This person was provided a packet containing a letter of consent and the Critical Care Family Satisfaction Survey (CCFSS). Results: Surveys were completed by 78 family members, the majority of whom were the wife of the patient (n = 35, 44%), 60 years and older (n = 48, 60.8%). Fifty-seven percent of patients (n = 45) were in the ICU less than 3 days and 59% (n = 47) of medical events were injury-related. Total CCFSS scores ranged from 69 to 100 (median 95). The item with the largest number of dissatisfied responses was “Noise level in the critical care unit” (n = 4, 5.3% not satisfied). Open-ended question comments were primarily positive (n = 60, 66%), with 32% (n = 29) representing areas for improvement. Conclusions: Results of this satisfaction survey have been disseminated to leadership and have been taken into consideration in the planning of a new hospital building currently being built, including ICU patient rooms that allow for more privacy and reduced noise, and more comfortable family rooms. Relevance to Clinical Practice: Family members are a very useful source of feedback for ICU care. Several concerns identified by family members in this study are likely to be relevant to other sites. These included: communication between health care providers and family about patient status, noise in the ICU, peaceful waiting areas for family, and slow transfers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-340
Number of pages7
JournalNursing in critical care
Issue number3
Early online dateDec 20 2020
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 British Association of Critical Care Nurses


  • family care in critical care
  • intensive care
  • quality improvement

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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