This study compared needs of
family members as perceived by nurses and the family members themselves. The
study design was descriptive and utilized quantitative data collection and analysis
method. Nurses (n = 62) working in the Intensive Care Units (ICU) and High
Dependency Units (HDU) of three tertiary health facilities in Malawi at the
time of the study consented to participate in the study. In addition, family
members (n = 62) who were looking after a critically sick relative in the ICU
and HDU in the same tertiary facilities consented and participated in the
study. Data were collected using a questionnaire developed from the Critical
Care Family Needs Inventory for a period of 7 days. STATA version 10 was used
to analyze data. The rank correlation between the mean scores of perceived
needs across major need categories of support, comfort, information, proximity
and assurance between the nurses and family members was significantly different
from zero (r = 0.97, p = 0.005). Nurses and family members, respectively ranked
assurance (90% and 92%) as the highest priority need, followed by information
(78% and 85%) and comfort (78% and 84%) and then support (70% and 73%) and
proximity (66% and 69%). The ranking however between the 2 groups on 16 out of
45 individual needs were significantly different (p < 0.05). Among the
nurses, the rankings by registered nurses were significantly higher (p < 0.05)
from those of nurse midwife technicians. There were also significant
differences (p < 0.05) in the mean scores between the gender of family
members with men demanding more “comfort” than females. Results show a need for
facility authorities to formulate ICU policies and strategies that ensure
provision of friendly services to family members of critically ill patients.
Cite this paper
Gundo, R. , Feggie Bodole, F. , Lengu, E. and Alfred Maluwa, A. (2014) Comparison of Nurses’ and Families’ Perception of Family Needs in Critical Care Unit at Referral Hospitals in Malawi. Open Journal of Nursing
, 312-320. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2014.44036
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