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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Kay Foland


medical care for the critically ill, critically ill family relationships, family attittudes, communication in medicine


The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to examine the relationship of information provided by health care providers and the ICU family member's level of satisfaction and anxiety, and to examine die family member's access to the patient and participation in care. The ABCX model of family stress by R. Hill (Artinian, 1994; Friedman, 1998) was the theoretical framework used in this study.
Twenty family members of twenty urgently admitted ICU patients completed, usually within the first three to four days after admission, five written questionnaires: Spielberger's State Anxiety Inventory, Satisfaction with Overall Care, Assessment of Information Provided, and demographic, access to the patient and participation in care questions.
A significant positive correlation (p < .001) between family satisfaction and information provided to the family member was identified. Family members experienced greater anxiety than the average working adult. Most family members felt it was very important to talk to the physician and important to talk to the nurse. Most family members also felt it was very important to participate in the care of the patient; 80% of family members participated in the care. The four family members most involved in the care also had a lower anxiety mean, a higher satisfaction mean, and a higher mean of information provided mean, than the less involved or not involved family members. The four family members who were not involved or less involved in the care had an anxiety score identical to those involved with the patients, but a lower level of satisfaction, and a lower level of information provided mean.
Family members of patients with a neurological diagnosis did not experience higher anxiety than the other family members, but did experience a higher satisfaction than the other family members, contrary to the literature. Consistent with the literature is that the family members of non-neurological trauma patients experienced more anxiety, less satisfaction, and reported less information provided than the entire sample mean. The three family members who were asked to not stay in the waiting room overnight reported lower satisfaction and information scores.
Family members were asked to wait to visit an average of almost five times and most were asked to limit how many family visited. Those who did not have to limit the number of family members had less anxiety, a higher satisfaction and a higher information provided mean.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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