OJN  Vol.4 No.4 , April 2014
Comparison of Nurses’ and Families’ Perception of Family Needs in Critical Care Unit at Referral Hospitals in Malawi
Abstract: 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, 4, 312-320. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2014.44036.

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