Empowerment from the perspective of next of kin in intensive care

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Empowerment from the perspective of next of kin in intensive care

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Empowerment from the perspective of next of kin in intensive care
Author(s) Wåhlin, Ingrid ; Ek, Anna-Christina ; Idvall, Ewa
Date 2009
English abstract
Aims and objectives. To describe next of kin empowerment in an intensive care situation. Background. Next of kin is important in reducing intensive care patients' fear and anxiety. However, admission to an intensive care unit is often recognised as an extremely stressful event, causing next of kin to experience shock, fear, anxiety and vulnerability. More knowledge is needed about how next of kin in intensive care can be empowered. Design. The study was conducted using a phenomenological method. Methods. Ten interviews were conducted with intensive care patients' next of kin. Findings. Perceptions of both a genuine will and a capacity to help and relieve were found to be essential for next of kin's experiences of empowerment in an intensive care situation. All informants were empowered by a caring atmosphere where they received continuous, straightforward and honest information that left room for hope and in which closeness to the patient was facilitated and medical care was perceived as the best possible. Some of the informants were also strengthened by support from other family members and/or by being involved in caring for the patient. Conclusions. Next of kin empowerment was found to be associated with being met with human warmth and sensitivity. This emphasises the importance of discussing attitudes and behaviours as well as surveillance and treatment when trying to improve the care of next of kin in intensive care unit and when working with staff development. Relevance to clinical practice. Knowledge of how to empower next of kin in an intensive care situation allows caring staff to support these persons in a more sensitive and appropriate way. Findings underline the importance of creating caring relations with patients' next of kin.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02744.x (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Wiley
Host/Issue Journal of Clinical Nursing;18
Volume 18
ISSN 0962-1067
Pages 2580-2587
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) critical care
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Caring sciences::Nursing
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/9973 (link to this page)

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