Needs of the significant others of critically ill patients in eleven intensive care units in four private hospitals in Gauteng
Keywords: critically ill patients, intensive care, significant others
AbstractBackground: Admission of a loved one into a critical care unit can be stressful and devastating to the significant others. Recognising the patients’ significant others’ needs and ensuring that all the needs are met have been proven to have beneficial effects on the healing process of the patient.1Method: A non-experimental, typical descriptive study was conducted to determine if the needs of critically ill patients’ significant others are met in eleven intensive care units of four private hospitals in Gauteng. The study was conducted in four cardio-thoracic units, two coronary care units, two trauma units and three medical units. Convenience sampling was used to select the participants. Results: One hundred and twelve participants completed a questionnaire and according to the study’s findings most needs of significant others were met in the eleven intensive care units of the four private hospitals in Gauteng. However, needs such as introduction of family to the specialists taking care of their loved ones were not met. No counseling is offered to the patients’ families and their spiritual needs are mostly not met. Conclusion: Some psychosocial and spiritual needs of the significant others of patients are commonly overlooked by the critical care team. The multidisciplinary critical care team should pay sufficient attention to these needs.
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