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Heart Lung. 2014 Sep-Oct;43(5):432-6. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2014.06.001. Epub 2014 Jul 4.

Dignity in the older critically ill adult: the family member's perspective.

Author information

1
College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 651 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01301, USA. Electronic address: jacelon@nursing.umass.edu.
2
College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 651 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01301, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this study was to examine the meaning and relative importance that family members of older patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) ascribed to dignity.

BACKGROUND:

Dignity is a core value of the nursing profession and of critical care nursing practice. Although there is a substantial body of research supporting the needs of family members of patients in the ICU, little is known about the needs of family members of older, critically ill patients, particularly as they relate to patient dignity.

METHODS:

A qualitative, descriptive approach using unstructured interviews was used. Data consisted of audio taped interviews of study participants. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method.

RESULTS:

Three major themes were identified including: 1) the older patient's health status and ICU experiences; 2) family roles, relationships, and goals; and 3) staff interactions with family members.

CONCLUSION:

Insight into the concerns of family members related to the dignity of the older critically ill patient may be useful in guiding nurses as they provide care in what are often fast-paced, highly technical environments. Meeting well established family needs as well as attending to the unique concerns identified in this study will assist nurses in supporting the older, critically ill patient's dignity.

KEYWORDS:

Critical care; Dignity; Family members; Older adults

PMID:
25000847
DOI:
10.1016/j.hrtlng.2014.06.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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