Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Crit Care. 2006 Nov;15(6):568-79.

Measuring intensive care nurses' perspectives on family-centered end-of-life care: evaluation of 3 questionnaires.

Author information

  • 1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195, USA.



Attempts to improve end-of-life care increasingly focus on family-centered care, but few validated assessment tools exist.


To evaluate 3 new short questionnaires measuring nurses' perspectives on family-centered end-of-life care in the intensive care unit and to show the usefulness of the questionnaires.


Principal components analysis of data from 141 critical care nurses evaluating care given to families of 218 patients was used to develop domain scores for number of nursing activities with each family, number of barriers experienced, and nurses' satisfaction that the family's needs were met. Random effects models were used to test associations between critical care processes and outcome.


Nursing activities fell into 2 domains: general and culture-related communication/support. Barriers consisted of 2 domains: patient/family barriers and system/team barriers. Meeting the needs of patients' families represented a single dimension. In a path model based on domain scores, general activities had significant associations with both nurse communication and meeting families' needs; patient/family barriers, with nurse communication; and nurse and physician communication, with meeting families' needs. In a path model based on total activities and barriers scores, total activities and total barriers had significant associations with nurse communication ratings and meeting families' needs. Patients' and nurses' characteristics were not significant independent predictors of meeting the needs of patients' families.


The 3 questionnaires provide a consistent, valid picture of nurses' perspectives on family-centered critical care and may be useful in evaluating family care processes and outcomes and in targeting areas for improvement.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk