A comparative descriptive study of the perspectives of families and nurses regarding the needs of families in adult intensive care unit in two tertiary hospitals in eThekwini district.
The aim of this study was to describe and compare the needs of families of critically ill patients in two adult ICUs from both the family and the nurses' perspectives. A non-experimental descriptive survey design with a quantitative approach was used to explore the family members' needs in an ICU situation. For this study, a non-probability convenience sample of 50 critical care nurses and 50 family members from adult Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in two tertiary hospitals was used. The Critical Care Family Need Inventory (CCFNI) (Molter, 1979) was used as a data collection instrument. There were different perceptions of family needs between families and nurses. Nurses were accurate with 21 (47%) of the 45 families' need items which was less than half of their perceived family needs compared to family members' perceptions despite the fact that the two groups were in agreement with 5 of the first 10 most important needs. Recommendations for future practice included incorporation of educational programmes for critical care nurses concerning family needs in ICU settings, and the provision of specific in-service training to improve communication skills. Critical care unit, critical care nurse, critically ill patient, family, family member, needs, perception, critical care nursing.