The Need for Family Meeting in the Management of Patients Admitted into the Intensive Care Unit: Experience from a Teaching Hospital in Nigeria
AbstractObjective: To evaluate the knowledge of family members of patients admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in terms of their patients’ clinical state, reasons for admission and progress of treatment.
Design: Prospective, cross-sectional study.
Setting: General Intensive Care Unit of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
Subjects: Twenty-five family members of patients admitted into the ICU were recruited. The data collected included socio-demographic characteristics, level of education, awareness of the indications for ICU admission, expectations of outcome and level of satisfaction with family meeting.
Results: Fifty- six percent of family members claimed to be aware of the indication for admission into the ICU while 44% claimed ignorance. Only 24% of thefamily members who claimed to be aware were correct about the indication for admission. Among the participants, 36% were well informed about the prognosis of their patients’ clinical condition. All the relatives interviewed were satisfied with the family meeting held with them.
Conclusion: Majority of family members of critically ill patients were neither carried along in the management of their patients nor were they informed of likely outcome. A timely, well-planned and regular family meeting is therefore advocated in the management of critically ill patients.