Recent initiatives encourage a family presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation and invasive procedures and more open visitation policies in intensive care units (ICUs). This study investigated perceptions of needs of those visiting and working in six ICUs. The needs of family members visiting patients with critical illness and nurses working in ICUs were measured using the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory. Data were collected prospectively using a convenience sample of 101 patients, family members, and nurses. Hierarchical cluster analysis identified the themes of (a) emotional resources and support, (b) trust and facilitation of needs, (c) treatment information, and (d) feelings. Family members and nurses differed significantly on three of the four themes (p = .000). This is important information for neuroscience nurses and other healthcare professionals to consider in providing care, setting visiting policies in ICUs, and developing approaches such as family-centered care.
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