Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing


The purpose of this study was to examine the following: (1) the personal needs of family members of critically ill patients; (2) the perceived importance of these needs; (3) the degree to which these needs were met and, if so, by whom; (4) the level of perceived satisfaction with the met needs; (5) if the importance of needs of family members of critically ill patients differed by diagnosis, family distance from home, or amount of visitation per day; and (6) if family members experiencing higher levels of anxiety have more needs. The design used for this study included ranking and descriptive correlational non-experimental methodology. The subjects included fifty-two adult family members who had a relative in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for at least forty eight hours. The study took place at a tertiary care hospital in a Midwestern city. The study setting was conducted in a 12-bed adult medical ICU and a 13-bed medical surgical unit. Data collection took place by a structured interview. Overall, identified family needs were similar to previous studies. Need statements that were identified as being very important or important were met greater than 75% of the time. Nurses were identified to have met the majority of family needs. Generally, family members were either very satisfied or satisfied about how their needs were met. There were no significant statistical relationships between family member needs related to diagnosis, family distance from home, or visitation time per day. Statistics were significant though indicating that family members with higher levels of anxiety have more needs.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Critically ill -- Family relationships Medical care -- Needs assessment



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University