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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2011 Feb;55(2):149-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.2010.02293.x. Epub 2010 Sep 6.

Patient satisfaction with care in the intensive care unit: can we rely on proxies?

Author information

1
Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To investigate whether next of kin can be addressed as proxy to assess patients' satisfaction with care in the intensive care unit (ICU).

METHODS:

Prospective observational multicentre study. Two hundred and thirty-five patients with an ICU length of stay of ≥2 days and 266 of their adult next of kin participated. Patient satisfaction was assessed by a questionnaire, distributed upon discharge from an ICU and compared with next of kin's answers. The possible range of answers was 0-100, with higher numbers indicating higher satisfaction. The main outcome measure was the extent of agreement between patients' satisfaction with care and the ratings of their next of kin.

RESULTS:

Patients were most satisfied concerning physicians' competence (86.7±16.3), while least satisfaction was observed for the management of agitation and restlessness (78.2±23.5). There was no significant difference between next of kin's and patients' ratings. Agreement between patients and proxies was the highest concerning overall satisfaction (Cohen's κ 0.40) and the lowest for coordination of care (0.24). Spouses/partners had a higher agreement with the patients' ratings than other proxies.

CONCLUSIONS:

If the patient is unable to rate his satisfaction with care in the ICU, next of kin may be taken as an appropriate surrogate.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

The study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, Reg No: NTC 00890513.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00890513.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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